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R&D, Firm Size, and Product Innovation Dynamics

  • Marco Corsino
  • Giuseppe Espa
  • Rocco Micciolo


This paper addresses a debated issue in the economics innovation literature, namely the existence of increasing return to R&D expenditures and sirm size on innovation output. It further explores how structural characteristics of the sirm as well as contextual factors affect the dynamics of product innovation over a relatively long period of time. Taking advantage of an original and unique database comprising innovation data recorded on a monthly base we show that: (i) a negative binomial distribution model is able to predict with great accuracy the probability of having a given number of product announcement sent out in a month; (ii) constant returns to size and R&D expenditure may reasonably characterize the innovation production function of sampled sirms; (iii) vertically integrated manufacturers as well as producers operating a larger product portfolio exhibit a higher propensity to introduce new products than their specialized competitors.

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Paper provided by Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy in its series ROCK Working Papers with number 045.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision: 12 Jun 2008
Handle: RePEc:trt:rockwp:045
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  1. Tether, B. S., 1998. "Small and large firms: sources of unequal innovations?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 725-745, November.
  2. Paul L. Robertson & Richard N. Langlois, 1994. "Innovation, Networks, and Vertical Integration," Industrial Organization 9406006, EconWPA.
  3. Bruno Crépon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation and Productivity : An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Working Papers 98-33, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  4. Santarelli, Enrico & Piergiovanni, Roberta, 1996. "Analyzing literature-based innovation output indicators: the Italian experience," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 689-711, August.
  5. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297.
  6. Geroski, Paul A & Samiei, Hossein & Van Reenen, John, 1996. "How Persistently do Firms Innovate?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Flor, M. L. & Oltra, M. J., 2004. "Identification of innovating firms through technological innovation indicators: an application to the Spanish ceramic tile industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 323-336, March.
  8. Rosenberg, Nathan & Steinmueller, W Edward, 1988. "Why Are Americans Such Poor Imitators?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 229-34, May.
  9. Kohn, Meir & Scott, John T, 1982. "Scale Economies in Research and Development: The Schumpeterian Hypothesis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 239-49, March.
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  13. repec:fth:inseep:9833 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-28, Spring.
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  16. Fisher, Franklin M & Temin, Peter, 1973. "Returns to Scale in Research and Development: What Does the Schumpeterian Hypothesis Imply ?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(1), pages 56-70, Jan.-Feb..
  17. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1996. "The Dynamics and Evolution of Industries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 51-87.
  18. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  19. Teece, David J. & Rumelt, Richard & Dosi, Giovanni & Winter, Sidney, 1994. "Understanding corporate coherence : Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
  20. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, June.
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