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The risks of innovation : are innovating firms less likely to die ?

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  • Fernandes, Ana M.
  • Paunov, Caroline

Abstract

While innovation is a source of competitiveness, it may expose plants to survival risks. Using a rich set of plant-product data for Chilean manufacturing plants during the period 1996-2006 and discrete-time hazard models controlling for unobserved plant heterogeneity, this paper shows that innovating plants have higher survival odds. However, risk plays an important role for the innovation-survival link: only innovators that retain diversified sources of revenues survive longer. Single-product innovators are at greater risk of exiting. In addition, only innovators facing lower market risk, measured by fewer innovative competitors, low-pricing strategies, or lower sales volatility in the new products'markets, see their odds of survival increase significantly. Technical risk, measured by the proximity of product innovations to the plants'past expertise, the degree of sophistication of new products, or their novelty to the Chilean market, does not play a substantial role in the innovation-survival link. Engaging in risky innovation is not an irrational decision, since plants reap big payoffs -- higher productivity, employment and sales growth -- from such innovations. However, those payoffs are not always higher than those from cautious innovation, suggesting that constraining factors, such as credit constraints, force plants to take on more risk when innovating. An implication of the findings for industry dynamics is that among innovators, only the survival of cautious innovators is guaranteed. Since engaging in cautious innovation may not be feasible for all plants, there could be a role for policy in reducing innovators'exposure to risks and providing assistance to deal with failed innovations, while setting the right incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernandes, Ana M. & Paunov, Caroline, 2012. "The risks of innovation : are innovating firms less likely to die ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6103, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6103
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    Cited by:

    1. Guimarães Barbosa, Evaldo, 2016. "External determinants of small business survival – The overwhelming impact of GDP and other environmental factors and a new proposed framework," MPRA Paper 73346, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Foellmi, Reto & Legge, Stefan & Tiemann, Alexa, 2015. "Innovation and Trade in the Presence of Credit Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 10391, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref & Solomon, Edna, 2016. "Inverted-U relationship between R&D intensity and survival: Evidence on scale and complementarity effects in UK data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1474-1492.
    4. Guimarães Barbosa, Evaldo, 2017. "Determinants of small business survival: The impacts of capital intensity and the collateral value of fixed assets," MPRA Paper 76434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:eee:tefoso:v:132:y:2018:i:c:p:92-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Zhang M. & Mohnen P., 2013. "Innovation and survival of new firms in Chinese manufacturing, 2000-2006," MERIT Working Papers 057, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Guimarães Barbosa, Evaldo, 2016. "The relationships between, on the hand, size, growth and age of the firm and, on the other hand, small business survival – a constructive critique and a proposal of a new framework," MPRA Paper 72111, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Elena Cefis & Orietta Marsili, 2018. "Good Times, Bad Times: Innovation and Survival over the Business Cycle," LEM Papers Series 2018/02, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    9. Guimarães Barbosa, Evaldo, 2016. "Determinants of Small Business Survival: The Case of Very Small Enterprises of the Traditional Manufacturing Sectors in Brazil," MPRA Paper 72304, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Caterina Santi & Pietro Santoleri, 2017. "Exploring the link between innovation and growth in Chilean firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 445-467, August.
    11. Trushin, Eshref & Ugur, Mehmet, 2018. "Ecosystem complexity, firm learning and survival: UK evidence on intra-industry age and size diversity as exit hazards," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 19095, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    12. Pål Børing, 2015. "The effects of firms’ R&D and innovation activities on their survival: a competing risks analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 1045-1069, November.
    13. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & Nikolas Zolas, 2016. "A Portrait of Firms that Invest in R&D," Working Papers 16-41, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Policies; E-Business; Markets and Market Access; Innovation; Knowledge for Development;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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