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Distance to Frontier and Appropriate Business Strategy

  • Alexander Coad

    ()

This paper is an empirical test of the hypothesis that the appropriateness of different business strategies is conditional on the firm's distance to the industry frontier. We use data on four 2-digit high-tech manufacturing industries in the US over the period 1972-1999, and apply semi-parametric quantile regressions to investigate the contribution of firm behavior to market value at various points of the conditional distribution of Tobin's q. Among our results, we observe that innovative activity, measured in terms of R&D expenditure or patents, has a strong positive association with market value at the upper quantiles (corresponding to the leader firms) whereas the innovative efforts of laggard firms are valued significantly less. Laggard firms, we suggest, should instead achieve productivity growth through efficient exploitation of existing technologies and imitation of industry leaders. Employment growth in leader firms is encouraged whereas growth of backward firms is not as well received on the stock market.

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Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2008-07.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2008-07
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "Vertical Integration and Distance to Frontier," CEPR Discussion Papers 3565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Alexander Coad, 2007. "Firm Growth: A Survey," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
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  5. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2006:i:13:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Philippe Aghion & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt & Susanne Prantl, 2004. "Entry and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Microlevel Panel Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 265-276, 04/05.
  7. Jérôme Vandenbussche & Philippe Aghion & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," IFS Working Papers W04/31, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. David T. Coe & Elhanan Helpman & Alexander Hoffmaister, 1995. "North-South R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 5048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  10. Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Aghion, Philippe & Acemoglu, Daron, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4554122, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  13. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, 2007. "Why Reform Europe's Universities?," Policy Briefs 34, Bruegel.
  14. Nickell, S. & Nicolitasa, D. & Patterson, M., 1995. "Does Doing Badly Encourage Management Innovation?," Economics Series Working Papers 99175, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
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  18. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  19. Coad, Alex & Rao, Rekha, 2008. "Innovation and firm growth in high-tech sectors: A quantile regression approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 633-648, May.
  20. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  21. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. Jay B. Barney, 1986. "Strategic Factor Markets: Expectations, Luck, and Business Strategy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(10), pages 1231-1241, October.
  24. Joao Pedro Azevedo, 2004. "GRQREG: Stata module to graph the coefficients of a quantile regression," Statistical Software Components S437001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 17 Mar 2011.
  25. Alex Coad, 2005. "Testing the Principle of "Growth of the Fitter": The Relationship between Profits and Firm Growth," Emory Economics 0531, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  26. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  28. Geroski, Paul A & Machin, Stephen & Walters, Christopher F, 1997. "Corporate Growth and Profitability," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 171-89, June.
  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.
  30. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 1994. "What do firms do with cash windfalls?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 337-360, December.
  31. Howitt, Peter & Aghion, Philippe, 2006. "Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework," Scholarly Articles 4554121, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  32. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-18, December.
  33. Louis K. C. Chan, 2001. "The Stock Market Valuation of Research and Development Expenditures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2431-2456, December.
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