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The Heterogeneous Impact of Market Size on Innovation: Evidence from French Firm-Level Exports

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Aghion
  • Antonin Bergeaud
  • Matthieu Lequien
  • Marc J. Melitz

Abstract

We analyze how demand conditions faced by a firm impacts its innovation decisions. To disentangle the direction of causality between innovation and demand conditions, we construct a firm-level export demand shock which responds to aggregate conditions in a firm’s export destinations but is exogenous to firm-level decisions. Using exhaustive data covering the French manufacturing sector, we show that French firms respond to exogenous growth shocks in their export destinations by patenting more; and that this response is entirely driven by the subset of initially more productive firms. The patent response arises 3 to 5 years after a demand shock, highlighting the time required to innovate. In contrast, the demand shock raises contemporaneous sales and employment for all firms, without any notable differences between high and low productivity firms. We show that this finding of a skewed innovation response to common demand shocks arises naturally from a model of endogenous innovation and competition with firm heterogeneity. The market size increase drives all firms to innovate more by increasing the innovation rents; yet by inducing more entry and thus more competition, it also discourages innovation by low productivity firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Aghion & Antonin Bergeaud & Matthieu Lequien & Marc J. Melitz, 2018. "The Heterogeneous Impact of Market Size on Innovation: Evidence from French Firm-Level Exports," NBER Working Papers 24600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24600
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Aghion & Diego Comin & Peter Howitt & Isabel Tecu, 2016. "When Does Domestic Savings Matter for Economic Growth?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(3), pages 381-407, August.
    2. Halmai Peter & Vasary Viktoria, 2009. "Economic Growth and Convergence in the European Union," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1, pages 171-188, May.
    3. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates & Giammario Impullitti, 2018. "Innovation and Trade Policy in a Globalized World," Working Papers id:12756, eSocialSciences.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 2009. "The Economics of Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012634.
    5. Giammario Impullitti & Omar Licandro, 2018. "Trade, Firm Selection and Innovation: The Competition Channel," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 189-229, February.
    6. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    7. -, 2009. "Economic growth in the Caribbean," Sede Subregional de la CEPAL para el Caribe (Estudios e Investigaciones) 38668, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Alfaro & Alejandro Cuñat & Harald Fadinger & Yanping Liu, 2017. "The Real Exchange Rate, Innovation and Asymmetries and Hysteresis," Harvard Business School Working Papers 18-044, Harvard Business School, revised May 2018.
    2. repec:nbr:nberch:14012 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Clément Magouyres & Thierry Mayer & Clément Mazet, 2019. "Technology-Induced Trade Shocks? Evidence from Broadband Expansion in France," Sciences Po publications 2019-10, Sciences Po.
    4. repec:eee:ecolet:v:170:y:2018:i:c:p:76-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sarah Guillou & Lionel Nesta, 2015. "Markup heterogeneity, export status ans the establishment of the euro," Sciences Po publications 2015-01, Sciences Po.
    6. repec:spr:weltar:v:154:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10290-017-0303-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Gigout, Timothee & Bricongne, Jean-Charles, 2019. "Explaining the Persistent Effect of Demand Uncertainty on Firm Growth," MPRA Paper 94228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Antonin Bergeaud & Yoann Potiron & Juste Raimbault, 2018. "Classifying Patents Based on their Semantic Content," Working papers 685, Banque de France.
    9. Cebreros Alfonso, 2019. "The Micro-economics of Export Supply: Firm-Level Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2019-02, Banco de México.
    10. repec:nbr:nberch:14264 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:kap:atlecj:v:47:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11293-019-09617-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Xavier Jaravel & Erick Sager, 2019. "What are the Price Effects of Trade? Evidence from the US and Implications for Quantitative Trade Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp1642, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Alfaro, Laura & Cunat, Alejandro & Fadinger, Harald & Yanping, Liu, 2017. "The real exchange rate, innovation and productivity," Working Papers 17-04, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    14. Aquilante, Tommaso & Vendrell-Herrero, Ferran, 2019. "Bundling and exporting: evidence from German SMEs," Bank of England working papers 781, Bank of England.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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