Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation and the Sources of Breakthrough Inventions: Evidence from a Data-Set of R&D Awards
This paper examines the relationship between Schumpeterian patterns of innovation and the generation of breakthrough inventions. Our data source for breakthrough inventions is the “R&D 100 awards” competition organized each year by the magazine Research & Development. Since 1963, this magazine has been awarding this prize to 100 most technologically significant new products available for sale or licensing in the year preceding the judgment. We use instead USPTO patent data to measure the relevant dimensions of the technological regimes prevailing in each sector and, on this basis of this information, we provide a characterization of each sector in terms of the Schumpeter Mark I/Schumpeter Mark II archetypes. Our main finding is that breakthrough inventions are more likely to emerge in “turbulent” Schumpeter Mark I type of contexts.
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