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Costly Information in Firm Transformation, Exit, or Persistent Failure

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  • Lynne G. Zucker
  • Michael R. Darby

Abstract

Firms invest differentially in the intellectual human capital required to recognize, evaluate, and utilize technological breakthroughs occurring outside the firm. Such differential investment has been crucial in explaining which incumbent pharmaceutical firms have successfully transformed their technological identities in response to the biotechnological revolution and which are threatened by persistent low performance. While all incumbent firms lagged the dedicated new biotechnology firms in adopting the new drug-discovery technology, firms with higher R&D expenditures before the biotech revolution were more likely to successfully adopt the new techniques and likely to do so earlier. Failure to adopt the new techniques was associated with lower performance compared to firms adopting more fully and faster.

Suggested Citation

  • Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 1996. "Costly Information in Firm Transformation, Exit, or Persistent Failure," NBER Working Papers 5577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5577
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patricia M. Danzon & Allison Percy, 1999. "The Effects of Price Regulation on Productivity in Pharmaceuticals," NBER Chapters,in: International and Interarea Comparisons of Income, Output, and Prices, pages 371-418 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Darby, Michael R, 1976. "Rational Expectations under Conditions of Costly Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(3), pages 889-895, June.
    3. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 1995. "Present at the Revolution: Transformation of Technical Identity for a Large Incumbent Pharmaceutical Firm After the Biotechnological Breakthrough," NBER Working Papers 5243, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Zucker, Lynne G. & Brewer, Marilynn B. & Darby, Michael R. & Peng, Yusheng, 1994. "Collaboration Structure and Information Dilemmas in Biotechnology: Organizational Boundaries as Trust Production," Institute for Social Science Research, Working Paper Series qt0gd8j9k8, Institute for Social Science Research, UCLA.
    5. Hanson, Gordon H, 1995. "Incomplete Contracts, Risk, and Ownership," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 341-363, May.
    6. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff Armstrong, 1994. "Intellectual Capital and the Firm: The Technology of Geographically Localized Knowledge Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zucker, Lynne G. & Darby, Michael R., 1997. "Present at the biotechnological revolution: transformation of technological identity for a large incumbent pharmaceutical firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 429-446, December.
    2. McMillan, G. Steven & Narin, Francis & Deeds, David L., 2000. "An analysis of the critical role of public science in innovation: the case of biotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-8, January.
    3. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Yusheng Peng, 1998. "Fundamentals or Population Dynamics and the Geographic Distribution of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises, 1976-1989," NBER Working Papers 6414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 2009. "Star Scientists, Innovation and Regional and National Immigration," Chapters,in: Entrepreneurship and Openness, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Fabiano Schivardi & Martin Schneider, 2008. "Strategic Experimentation and Disruptive Technological Change," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 386-412, April.
    6. Davis, Lee, 1999. "R&D Investments, Information and Strategy," Working Papers 10-1999, Copenhagen Business School, Department of International Economics and Management.
    7. Rothaermel, Frank T. & Thursby, Marie, 2005. "University-incubator firm knowledge flows: assessing their impact on incubator firm performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 305-320, April.
    8. Peter Arbo & Heikki Eskelinen, 2003. "The Role of Small, Comprehensive Universities in Regional Economic Development: Experiences from Two Nordic cases," ERSA conference papers ersa03p530, European Regional Science Association.

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