How Persistently do Firms Innovate?
This paper examines the innovative history of a number of UK firms using two large databases, looking for evidence consistent with the view that firms who innovate typically do so persistently. The first sample contains 3,304 firms who registered at least one patent in the United States during the period 1969–88, while the second consists of 1,624 firms who produced at least one major innovation at any time in the United Kingdom from 1945–82. Both datasets yield the same conclusion, namely that very few innovative firms are persistently innovative.
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