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Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation

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  • Tor Jakob Klette
  • Samuel Kortum

Abstract

We develop a parsimonious model of innovating firms rich enough to confront firm-level evidence. It captures the dynamic behaviour of individual heterogeneous firms, describes the evolution of an industry with simultaneous entry and exit, and delivers a general equilibrium model of technological change. While unifying the theoretical analysis of firms, industries and the aggregate economy, the model yields insights into empirical work on innovating firms. It accounts for the persistence over time of firms' R&D investment, the concentration of R&D among incumbent firms, and the link between R&D and patenting. Furthermore, it explains why R&D as a fraction of revenues is strongly related to firm productivity yet largely unrelated to firm size or growth.
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Suggested Citation

  • Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 986-1018, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:112:y:2004:i:5:p:986-1018
    DOI: 10.1086/422563
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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