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Young, Restless and Creative: Openness to Disruption and Creative Innovations

Author

Listed:
  • Ufuk Akcigit

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Murat Celik

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Daron Acemoglu

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Abstract

This paper argues that openness to new, unconventional and disruptive ideas has a first-order impact on creative innovations---innovations that break new ground in terms of knowledge creation. After presenting a motivating model focusing on the choice between incremental and radical innovation, and on how managers of different ages and human capital are sorted across different types of firms, we provide cross-country, firm-level and patent-level evidence consistent with this pattern. Our measures of creative innovations proxy for innovation quality (average number of citations per patent) and creativity (fraction of superstar innovators, the likelihood of a very high number of citations, and generality of patents). Our main proxy for openness to disruption is manager age. This variable is based on the idea that only companies or societies open to such disruption will allow the young to rise up within the hierarchy. Using this proxy at the country, firm or patent level, we present robust evidence that openness to disruption is associated with more creative innovations.

Suggested Citation

  • Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Celik & Daron Acemoglu, 2014. "Young, Restless and Creative: Openness to Disruption and Creative Innovations," 2014 Meeting Papers 377, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:377
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • P10 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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