IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Breakthrough innovations and welfare: The role of innovators' loss aversion and experience


  • Daniela Grieco

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))


Technological refinements appears to be much more frequent than breakthrough innovations. We argue that this could be the result of an optimizing choice when the innovation revenues are exposed to Knightian uncertainty and innovators are loss-averse. The innovator's choice between breakthrough and incremental innovations is analyzed in the context of a neo-Schumpeterian growth model that accounts for the introduction of new goods and related sunk costs. The results show that the welfare generated by breakthrough innovations drops dramatically when agents are uncertainty-averse and/or loss-averse, but rises as innovators' experience increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Grieco, 2010. "Breakthrough innovations and welfare: The role of innovators' loss aversion and experience," Working Papers 20/2010, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:20/2010

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Goddard & David McMillan & John Wilson, 2006. "Do firm sizes and profit rates converge? Evidence on Gibrat's Law and the persistence of profits in the long run," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 267-278.
    2. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Adelina Gschwandtner, 2008. "Tracing The Dynamics Of Competition: Evidence From Company Profits," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 208-213, April.
    3. Valentina Meliciani & Franco Peracchi, 2006. "Convergence in per-capita GDP across European regions: a reappraisal," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 549-568, September.
    4. Persefoni Tsaliki & Lefteris Tsoulfidis, 1998. "Alternative Theories of Competition: evidence from Greek manufacturing," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 187-204.
    5. Andrews, Donald W K & Chen, Hong-Yuan, 1994. "Approximately Median-Unbiased Estimation of Autoregressive Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(2), pages 187-204, April.
    6. Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1996. "Financial Constraints and Investment: Methodological Issues and International Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 70-89, Summer.
    7. Fabio D'Orlando, 2007. "A Methodological Note on Long-Period Positions," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 17-26.
    8. Mueller,Dennis C., 2009. "Profits in the Long Run," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521101592, March.
    9. Jack Glen & Kevin Lee & Ajit Singh, 2003. "Corporate profitability and the dynamics of competition in emerging markets: a time series analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages 465-484, November.
    10. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Adelina Gschwandtner, 2006. "The competitive environment hypothesis revisited: non-linearity, nonstationarity and profit persistence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 465-472.
    11. Glen, Jack & Lee, Kevin & Singh, Ajit, 2001. "Persistence of profitability and competition in emerging markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 247-253, August.
    12. Brozen, Yale, 1971. "Bain's Concentration and Rates of Return Revisited," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 351-370, October.
    13. Lambson, V.E., 1989. "Industry Evolution With Sunk Costs And Uncertian Market Conditions," Working papers 8904, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    14. Adelina Gschwandtner, 2005. "Profit persistence in the 'very' long run: evidence from survivors and exiters," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(7), pages 793-806.
    15. Glick, Mark & Ehrbar, Hans, 1990. "Long-run Equilibrium in the Empirical Study of Monopoly and Competition," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 151-162, January.
    16. Theodore P. Lianos & Vassilis Droucopoulos, 1993. "Convergence and Hierarchy of Industrial Profit Rates: The Case of Greek Manufacturing," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 67-80, June.
    17. Glick, Mark & Ehrbar, Hans, 1988. "Profit rate equalization in the U.S. and Europe: An econometric investigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 179-201.
    18. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Exactly Median-Unbiased Estimation of First Order Autoregressive/Unit Root Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 139-165, January.
    19. Adelina Gschwandtner & Michael Hauser, 2008. "Modelling profit series: nonstationarity and long memory," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(11), pages 1475-1482.
    20. Val Eugene Lambson, 1992. "Competitive Profits in the Long Run," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 125-142.
    21. Goddard, J. A. & Wilson, J. O. S., 1999. "The persistence of profit: a new empirical interpretation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 663-687, July.
    22. Mario Pianta & Massimiliano Tancioni, 2008. "Innovations, wages, and profits," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 101-123, September.
    23. Lefteris Tsoulfidis & Persefoni Tsaliki, 2005. "Marxian Theory of Competition and the Concept of Regulating Capital: Evidence from Greek Manufacturing," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 37(1), pages 5-22, March.
    24. B. Burcin Yurtoglu, 2004. "Persistence of firm-level profitability in Turkey," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 615-625.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Incremental innovation; Breakthrough innovation; Uncertainty; Loss aversion; Experience;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:20/2010. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael Reiter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.