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Properties of knowledge base and firm survival: Evidence from a sample of French manufacturing firms

  • Alessandra Colombelli

    (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, and CNRS GREDEG - GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis)

  • Jackie Krafft

    ()

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis)

  • Francesco Quatraro

    ()

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis)

The paper analyzes the effects of the properties of firms' knowledge base on the survival likelihood of firms. Drawing upon the analysis of the patterns of co-occurrence of technological classes in patent applications, we derive the coherence, variety and cognitive distance indexes, accounting respectively for technological complementarity, differentiation and dissimilarity in the firms' patent portfolios. The results of our analysis are in line with the previous literature, showing that innovation enhances the survival likelihood of firms. In addition, we show that the search strategies at work in the development of firms' knowledge base matter in reducing the likelihood of a failure event. Knowledge coherence and variety appear to be positively related to firms' survival, while cognitive distance exerts a negative effect. We conclude that firms able to exploit the accumulated technological competences have more chances to be successful in competing durably in the market arena, and derive some policy implications concerning the role of public intervention in the orientation of search efforts in local contexts.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00923650
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