Innovate or Die? A critical review of the literature on innovation and performance
The idea that innovation leads to positive economic performance has become a sort of truism in recent years. However, empirical evidence showing that innovating organizations and countries outperform non-innovating ones remains scant and scattered. In many ways, the jury is still out. First of all, there is still little agreement about what ‘performance’ means. The range of indicators adopted in the literature varies widely: financial performance, market shares, new products introduced into the market, patents, GDP growth, and so on. Second, the time lag between innovative efforts and performance is often so large, and so industry specific, that it remains just very hard to produce reliable estimates. Third, it is still unclear at what level of analysis one should go looking for positive economic performance. Studies exist that look at the relationship between performance and innovation at the level of design teams, projects, firms, networks, industries, and countries. This paper aims at critically reviewing the wide, yet remarkably scattered literature that aims at measuring and explaining the relationship between innovation and performance. It builds upon an extensive review of contributions in economics, management and organisation sciences to identify trends and results that are consistent and robust. In a nutshell, this paper argues that country- and sectoral-level approaches which emphasize the role that knowledge, spillovers and human capital play in fostering economic growth trough innovation need to consider the fundamental role played by competition among heterogeneous organisations in igniting the growth process. In this respect, micro-and firm-level studies can provide useful insights about how competition fosters learning, innovation and ultimately growth.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2006|
|Date of revision:||Sep 2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: via Sarfatti, 25 - 20136 Milano - Italy|
Web page: http://www.kites.unibocconi.it/
|Order Information:|| Postal: E G E A - via R. Sarfatti, 25 - 20136 Milano -Italy|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1996. "Schumpeterian patterns of innovation are technology-specific," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 451-478, May.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990.
"A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Geroski, P. A. & Van Reenen, J. & Walters, C. F., 1997.
"How persistently do firms innovate?,"
Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-48, March.
- Paul M Romer, 1999.
"Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2232, David K. Levine.
- Peretto, Pietro F., 1996.
"Technological Change and Population Growth,"
96-28, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Wakelin, Katharine, 1998. "Innovation and export behaviour at the firm level," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 829-841, April.
- Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
- Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
- Basile, Roberto, 2001. "Export behaviour of Italian manufacturing firms over the nineties: the role of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1185-1201, October.
- Katharine Wakelin, 1998. "The role of innovation in bilateral OECD trade performance," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(10), pages 1335-1346.
- Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bart Verspagen, 2001.
"Economic Growth and Technological Change: An Evolutionary Interpretation,"
OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers
2001/1, OECD Publishing.
- Verspagen, B., 2000. "Economic growth and technological change: an evolutionary interpretation," Working Papers 00.12, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
- Alwyn Young, 1998. "Growth without Scale Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 41-63, February.
- Romer, Paul M, 1990.
"Endogenous Technological Change,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
- Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2000.
"Knowledge Spillovers And Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey,"
ERSA conference papers
ersa00p362, European Regional Science Association.
- Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
- Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2001. "Knowledge spillovers and local innovation systems: a critical survey," LIUC Papers in Economics 84, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
- Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
- Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990.
"A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction,"
NBER Working Papers
3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Working papers 527, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
- Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
- Cefis, Elena, 2003. "Is there persistence in innovative activities?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 489-515, April.
- Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi & Peretto, Pietro, 1997. "Persistence of innovative activities, sectoral patterns of innovation and international technological specialization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 801-826, October.
- Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro, 1994. "Life Duration of New Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 227-45, September.
- Alessandro STERLACCHINI, 1998.
"Do innovative activities matter to small firms in non-R&D-intensive industries? An application to export performances,"
109, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
- Sterlacchini, Alessandro, 1999. "Do innovative activities matter to small firms in non-R&D-intensive industries? An application to export performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 819-832, November.
- M. V. Posner, 1961. "International Trade And Technical Change," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 323-341.
- Charles I. Jones, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525.
- Glen, Jack & Lee, Kevin & Singh, Ajit, 2001. "Persistence of profitability and competition in emerging markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 247-253, August.
- A. Gourlay & J. Seaton, 2004. "Explaining the decision to export: evidence from UK firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 153-158.
- P. Geroski, 1998.
"An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance,"
Review of Industrial Organization,
Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 13(3), pages 271-294, June.
- Geroski, Paul A, 1998. "An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Geroski, Paul A & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "The Persistence of Profits: A European Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 375-89, June.
- Montobbio, Fabio & Rampa, Francesco, 2005.
"The impact of technology and structural change on export performance in nine developing countries,"
Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 527-547, April.
- Montobbio Fabio & Rampa Francesco, 2002. "The impact of technology and structural change on export performance on nine developing coutries," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf0219, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
- Agarwal, Rajshree & Audretsch, David B, 2001. "Does Entry Size Matter? The Impact of the Life Cycle and Technology on Firm Survival," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 21-43, March.
- Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1999. "Technological entry, exit and survival: an empirical analysis of patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 643-660, August.
- Peter W Roberts, 2001. "Innovation and firm-level persistent profitability: a Schumpeterian framework," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4-5), pages 239-250.
- Rana Hasan & Mayank Raturi, 2003.
"Does Investing in Technology Affect Exports? Evidence from Indian Firms,"
Review of Development Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 279-293, 05.
- Rana Hasan & Mayank Raturi, 2001. "Does Investing in Technology Affect Exports? Evidence from Indian Firms," Economics Study Area Working Papers 21, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
- Fabio Montobbio, 2003. "Sectoral patterns of technological activity and export market share dynamics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 523-545, July.
- Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, March.
- Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1995. "Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 47-65, February.
- Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
- Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Armstrong, Jeff, 1998. "Geographically Localized Knowledge: Spillovers or Markets?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 65-86, January.
- Audretsch, David B., 1995. "Innovation, growth and survival," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 441-457, December.
- Roper, Stephen & Love, James H., 2002. "Innovation and export performance: evidence from the UK and German manufacturing plants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, September.
- Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-75, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp179. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valerio Sterzi)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.