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R&D, firm size and incremental product innovation

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This article addresses an issue that is debated in the economics of innovation literature, namely the existence of increasing returns to R&D expenditures and firm size, in product innovation. It explores further how the firm's structural characteristics and contextual factors affect the sustained introduction of new components over a relatively long time period. Taking advantage of an original and unique database comprising information on new product announcements by leading semiconductor producers, we show that: (i) decreasing returns to size and R&D expenditures characterize the innovation production function of the sampled firms; (ii) producers operating a larger product portfolio exhibit a higher propensity to introduce new products than their specialized competitors; (iii) aging has positive bearings on the firm's ability to innovate.
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Keywords: L11; L63; O31; O32; R&D; firm size; product innovation; semiconductor industry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Management,University of Bologna, Via Capo di Lucca, 3440126Bologna, Italy 2: Department of Economics,University of Trento, Trento, Italy 3: Department of Sociology and Social Research,University of Trento, Trento, Italy

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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