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The Innovation and Imitation Dichotomy in Spanish firms: do absorptive capacity and the technological frontier matter?

  • Gombau, Verònica
  • Segarra Blasco, Agustí
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    This paper analyses whether a firm’s absorptive capacity and its distance from the technological frontier affect the choice between innovation and imitation in innovative Spanish firms. From an extensive survey of 5,575 firms during the 2004-2009 period, we found two significant results. With regard to the role of absorptive capacity, the empirical evidence shows that when innovative firms have difficulties in accessing external information and hire skilled workers, their innovative capacity is reduced. Meanwhile, with regard to distance from the technological frontier, the firms that reduce this gap manage to increase their innovative capacity at the expense of imitation. To summarise, when we studied firms’ absorptive capacity and their relative position to the technological frontier in tandem, we found that the two factors directly affected firms' ability to innovate or imitate. Key words: R&D sources, innovation and imitation strategies, absorptive capacity, technological frontier, ordered probit.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/179666
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    Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/179666.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/179666
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    14. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-18, December.
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