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Persistence of Firm Innovative Behavior: Towards an Evolutionary Theory

  • William R. Latham


    (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

  • Christian Le Bas

A growing body empirical literature deals with persistence in innovation. However, there is neither a survey of the development and status of the field nor a clear statement of a theory of persistence which includes a formal model of the dynamics of firm persistence. This paper fills these gaps by first providing a survey of previous studies of persistence, then presenting a theory, based on the evolutionary approach, to explain the choice of firms to innovate persistently, sporadically or not at all, and finally describing a formal model which shows some striking results corroborated by recent empirical evidence.

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Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05-14.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:05-14
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  1. Harabi, N., 1993. "Appropriabiblity of Technical Innovations: An Empirical Analysis," Papers 31a, Universitat Zurich - Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Institut.
  2. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Shane Greenstein, 1997. "Technological Competition and the Structure of the Computer Industry," Working Papers 97028, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  3. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
  4. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-26, June.
  5. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "A Reprise of Size and R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 925-51, July.
  6. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. C. Le Bas & A. Cabagnols & C. Gay, 2003. "An Evolutionary View on Persistence in Innovation: An Empirical Application of Duration Models," Chapters, in: Applied Evolutionary Economics, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  8. Geroski, Paul A & Samiei, Hossein & Van Reenen, John, 1996. "How Persistently do Firms Innovate?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
  12. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:11 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. 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.
  16. Iosso, Thomas R., 1993. "Industry evolution with a sequence of technologies and heterogeneous ability : A model of creative destruction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 109-129, June.
  17. van Dijk, Machiel, 2000. "Technological Regimes and Industrial Dynamics: The Evidence from Dutch Manufacturing," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 173-94, June.
  18. Cefis, Elena, 2003. "Is there persistence in innovative activities?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 489-515, April.
  19. Crepon, Bruno & Duguet, Emmanuel, 1997. "Estimating the Innovation Function from Patent Numbers: GMM on Count Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 243-63, May-June.
  20. Mueller, Dennis C., 1997. "First-mover advantages and path dependence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 827-850, October.
  21. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
  22. Glenn C. Loury, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410.
  23. Gruber, Harald, 1992. "Persistence of Leadership in Product Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 359-75, December.
  24. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:17 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Duguet, Emmanuel & StÈphanie Monjon, 2002. "Creative Destruction and Innovative Core: Is Innovation Persistent at the Firm Level? An empirical reexamination from CIS data comparing the propensity score and regression methods," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 68, Royal Economic Society.
  26. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. 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.
  28. Breschi, Stefano & Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Technological Regimes and Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 388-410, April.
  29. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
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