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Optimal Diversity in Investments with Recombinant Innovation

  • Zeppini Rossi, P.

    ()

    (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

  • Bergh, J.C.J.M. van der

    (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

The notion of dynamic, endogenous diversity and its role in theories of investment and technological innovation is addressed. We develop a formal model of an innovation arising from the combination of two existing modules with the objective to optimize the net benefits of diversity. The model takes into account increasing returns to scale and the effect of different dimensions of diversity on the probability of emergence of a third option. We obtain analytical solutions describing the dynamic behaviour of the values of the options. Next diversity is optimized by trading off the benefits of recombinant innovation and returns to scale. We derive conditions for optimal diversity under different regimes of returns to scale. Threshold values of returns to scale and recombination probability define regions where either specialization or diversity is the best choice. In the time domain, when the investment time horizon is beyond a threshold value, a diversified investment becomes the best choice. This threshold will be larger the higher the returns to scale.

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File URL: http://www1.fee.uva.nl/cendef/publications/papers/Zeppini-vandenBergh_RecombinantInnovation.pdf
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Paper provided by Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance in its series CeNDEF Working Papers with number 08-12.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ams:ndfwpp:08-12
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dept. of Economics and Econometrics, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 11, NL - 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: + 31 20 525 52 58
Fax: + 31 20 525 52 83
Web page: http://www.fee.uva.nl/cendef/
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  1. Weitzman, Martin L, 1992. "On Diversity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 363-405, May.
  2. Frenken, Koen & Saviotti, Paolo P. & Trommetter, Michel, 1999. "Variety and niche creation in aircraft, helicopters, motorcycles and microcomputers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 469-488, June.
  3. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2008. "Optimal diversity: Increasing returns versus recombinant innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 565-580, December.
  4. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  5. Weitzman, M.L., 1992. "Diversity Functions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1610, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
  7. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
  8. van den Heuvel, Stijn T.A. & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2009. "Multilevel assessment of diversity, innovation and selection in the solar photovoltaic industry," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 50-60, March.
  9. Sendil K. Ethiraj & Daniel Levinthal, 2004. "Modularity and Innovation in Complex Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 159-173, February.
  10. Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January.
  11. Jan W. Rivkin & Nicolaj Siggelkow, 2003. "Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 290-311, March.
  12. Andy Stirling, 2007. "A General Framework for Analysing Diversity in Science, Technology and Society," SPRU Working Paper Series 156, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  13. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
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