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Competition and Innovation: Does the Distance to the Technology Frontier Matter?


Alder, Simon (2010). Competition and Innovation: Does the Distance to the Technology Frontier Matter? Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 493, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the relationship between innovation, competitionnand distance to the technology frontier, using enterprise surveys from 40 developing and transition countries. Different from previous empirical studies, the distance to frontier is measured by a firm's technology level relative to its main competitor. This self-reported comparison allows to capture a crucial determinant of a firm's business strategy and its response to competition. The findings from the empirical analysis are as follows. Firstly, firms with more advanced technology compared to their main competitors have more product innovations. Secondly, there is evidence that innovation and competition are more positively correlated at low levels of competition than at high levels. With some measures of competition,nthe correlation is highest at intermediate levels of competition, which suggestsnan inverted-U relationship. Thirdly, in certain specifications, competition is most positively correlated with product innovation when a firm is more advanced than its main competitor. In other cases, this correlation is strongest for firms that are at the same technology level as their competitors. However, the differences in the correlations between more and less advanced firms are not always significant.

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the relationship between innovation, competitionnand distance to the technology frontier, using enterprise surveys from 40 developing and transition countries. Different from previous empirical studies, the distance to frontier is measured by a firm's technology level relative to its main competitor. This self-reported comparison allows to capture a crucial determinant of a firm's business strategy and its response to competition. The findings from the empirical analysis are as follows. Firstly, firms with more advanced technology compared to their main competitors have more product innovations. Secondly, there is evidence that innovation and competition are more positively correlated at low levels of competition than at high levels. With some measures of competition,nthe correlation is highest at intermediate levels of competition, which suggestsnan inverted-U relationship. Thirdly, in certain specifications, competition is most positively correlated with product innovation when a firm is more advanced than its main competitor. In other cases, this correlation is strongest for firms that are at the same technology level as their competitors. However, the differences in the correlations between more and less advanced firms are not always significant.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:July 2010
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 15:09
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 12:41
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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