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Properties of knowledge base and firm survival: Evidence from a sample of French manufacturing firms

The paper analyzes the effects of the properties of firms’ knowledge base on the survival likelihood of firms. Drawing upon the analysis of the patterns of co-occurrence of technological classes in patent applications, we derive the coherence, variety and cognitive distance indexes, accounting respectively for technological complementarity, differentiation and (dis)similarity in the firms’ patent portfolios. The results of our analysis are in line with the previous literature, showing that innovation enhances the survival likelihood of firms. In addition, we show that the search strategies at work in the development of firms’ knowledge base matter in reducing the likelihood of a failure event. Knowledge coherence and variety appear to be positively related to firms’ survival, while cognitive distance exerts a negative effect. We conclude that firms able to exploit the accumulated technological competences have more chances to be successful in competing durably in the market arena, and derive some policy implications concerning the role of public intervention in the orientation of search efforts in local contexts.

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio Carlo Alberto. WP series with number 201209.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:201209
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