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A patent analysis of global food and beverage firms: The persistence of innovation

Author

Listed:
  • Oscar Alfranca

    (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, ESAB, Urgell, 187,, 08036 Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: oscar.alfranca@upc.es)

  • Ruth Rama

    (Instituto de Economía y Geografía, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Pinar, 25, 28006 Madrid, Spain. E-mail: rrama@ieg.csic.es)

  • Nicholas von Tunzelmann

    (SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom)

Abstract

We explore whether current innovation has an enduring effect on future innovative activity in large, global food and beverage (F&B) companies. We analyze a sample of 16,698 patents granted in the United States over the period 1977 to 1994 to 103 F&B firms selected from the world's largest F&B multinationals. We test whether patent time series are trend stationary or difference stationary in order to detect how large the autoregressive parameter is and how enduring the impact of past innovation in these companies is. We conclude that the patent series are not consistent with the random walk model. The null hypothesis of a unit root can be rejected at the 5% level when a constant and a time trend are considered. Both utility and design patent series are stationary around a constant and a time trend. Moreover, there is a permanent component in the patent time series. Thus, global F&B firms show a stable pattern of technological accumulation in which “success breeds success.” “Old” innovators are the ones to foster both important changes and new ways of packaging products among F&B multinationals. The effect of past innovation is almost permanent. By contrast, other potential stimuli to technological change have only transitory effects on innovation. Patterns of technological accumulation vary in specific F&B industries. Past experience in design is important in highly processed foods and beverages, but not in agribusinesses and basic foodstuffs. Patterns of technological accumulation are similar in both smaller multinationals|newcomers and large, established multinationals. [EconLit citations : O330, F230, L660] © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Suggested Citation

  • Oscar Alfranca & Ruth Rama & Nicholas von Tunzelmann, 2002. "A patent analysis of global food and beverage firms: The persistence of innovation," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 349-368.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:18:y:2002:i:3:p:349-368
    DOI: 10.1002/agr.10021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandra Colombelli & Francesco Quatraro, 2014. "The persistence of firms' knowledge base: a quantile approach to Italian data," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(7), pages 585-610, October.
    2. Cristiano Antonelli & Francesco Crespi & Giuseppe Scellato, 2013. "Internal and external factors in innovation persistence," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 256-280, April.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:86:y:2011:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-010-0247-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Antonelli, Cristiano & Crespi, Francesco & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2012. "Inside innovation persistence: New evidence from Italian micro-data," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 341-353.
    5. Paola Cardamone & Valeria Pupo & Fernanda Ricotta, 2016. "Exploring The Relationship Between University And Innovation: Evidence From The Italian Food Industry," Working Papers 201602, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    6. De Paola, Maria & Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2016. "Are Men Given Priority for Top Jobs? Investigating the Glass Ceiling in the Italian Academia," IZA Discussion Papers 9658, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Alarcón, Silverio & Sánchez, Mercedes, 2016. "Is there a virtuous circle relationship between innovation activities and exports? A comparison of food and agricultural firms," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 70-79.
    8. Colombelli Alessandra & Quatraro Francesco, 2012. "Persistence of innovation and knowledge structure: Evidence from a sample of Italian firms," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201205, University of Turin.
    9. Azar, Goudarz, 2012. "Inpatriates and Expatriates: Sources of Strategic Human Capital for Multinational Food and Beverage Firms," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 15(A).
    10. Filippaios, Fragkiskos & Papanastassiou, Marina & Pearce, Robert & Rama, Ruth, 2009. "New forms of organisation and R&D internationalisation among the world's 100 largest food and beverages multinationals," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1032-1043, July.
    11. Alessandra Colombelli & Nick von Tunzelmann, 2011. "The Persistence of Innovation and Path Dependence," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economic Complexity of Technological Change, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Minarelli, Francesca & Raggi, Meri & Viaggi, Davide, 2015. "Innovation in European food SMEs: determinants and links between types," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), issue 1, April.
    13. Trott, Paul & Simms, Chris, 2017. "An examination of product innovation in low- and medium-technology industries: Cases from the UK packaged food sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 605-623.
    14. Rammer, Christian & Schubert, Torben, 2016. "Concentration on the few? R&D and innovation in German firms 2001 to 2013," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-005, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    15. Acosta, Manuel & Coronado, Daniel & Toribio, Mª Rosario, 2011. "The use of scientific knowledge by Spanish agrifood firms," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 507-516, August.
    16. Ruth Rama, 2008. "Foreign investment innovation: a review of selected policies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 353-363, August.
    17. Antonelli Cristiano & Crespi, Francesco & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2013. "Path Dependent Patterns of Persistence in Productivity Growth," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201310, University of Turin.
    18. Antonelli, Cristiano & Crespi, Francesco & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2010. "Universities look beyond the patent policy discourse in their intellectual property strategies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201010, University of Turin.
    19. Manuel Toselli, 2017. "Knowledge sources and integration ties toward innovation. A food sector perspective," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 7(1), pages 43-65, April.

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