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Growth through Heterogeneous Innovations

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  • Akcigit, Ufuk
  • Kerr, William R.

Abstract

We build a tractable growth model where multi-product incumbents invest in internal innovations to improve their existing products, while new entrants and incumbents invest in external innovations to acquire new product lines. External and internal innovations generate heterogeneous innovation qualities, and firm size affects innovation incentives. This framework allows us to analyze how different types of innovation contribute to economic growth and how the firm size distribution can have important consequences for the types of innovations realized. Our model aligns with many observed empirical regularities, and we quantify our framework by matching Census Bureau operating data with patent data for U.S. firms. We observe that internal innovation scales moderately faster with firm size than external innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Akcigit, Ufuk & Kerr, William R., 2016. "Growth through Heterogeneous Innovations," CEPR Discussion Papers 11660, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11660
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    Keywords

    Citations; Endogenous Growth; Entrepreneurs.; External; innovation; Internal; patents; Research and Development; Scientists;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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