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Innovation, Firm Size and Market Structure: Schumpeterian Hypotheses and Some New Themes


  • George Symeonidis


This paper surveys the empirical literature on the links between innovation, market structure and firm size. The review shows that there is little evidence in support of the Schumpeterian hypothesis that market power and large firms stimulate innovations: R&D spending seems to rise more or less proportionally with firm size after a certain threshold level has been passed, and there is little evidence of a positive relationship between R&D intensity and concentration in general. However, positive linkages between concentration/size and innovative activity can occur when certain conditions are met, including high sunk costs per individual project, economies of scale and scope in the production of innovation rents. Recent empirical work suggests that R&D intensity and market structure are jointly determined by technology, the characteristics of demand, the institutional framework, strategic interaction and chance ... Cet article passe en revue la littérature empirique concernant les liens entre innovation, structure de marché et taille de l’entreprise. Il montre le manque de preuves en faveur des hypothèses schumpeteriennes selon lesquelles l’innovation serait stimulée par la puissance du marché et l’existence de grosses sociétés : les dépenses de R-D semblent croître de manière plus ou moins proportionnelle avec la taille de l’entreprise après qu’un certain seuil a été franchi, et peu de signes attestent d’une relation positive entre intensité de la R-D et concentration en général. Cependant, des liens positifs entre concentration/taille et activité innovante peuvent s’établir sous certaines conditions, parmi lesquelles l’existence de coûts fixes élevés par projet individuel, d’économies d’échelle et de gamme dans la production d’innovations, de contraintes financières, et de difficultés à s’approprier les rentes liées à l’innovation. Des travaux empiriques récents semblent indiquer que ...

Suggested Citation

  • George Symeonidis, 1996. "Innovation, Firm Size and Market Structure: Schumpeterian Hypotheses and Some New Themes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 161, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:161-en
    DOI: 10.1787/603802238336

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