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The Economics of Persistent Innovation: An Evolutionary View
The Economics of Persistent Innovation: An Evolutionary View

The Economics of Persistent Innovation: An Evolutionary View

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William Latham Christian Le Bas Persistence of firm innovative behavior became an important topic in applied industrial organization with the publication of the seminal empirical work of P. Geroski and his colleagues (1997). Evidence that firms innovate persistently has led previous studies to focus on the determinants of innovation persistence and on its heterogeneity across industries, technologies and countries. The aims of this book are: (1) to illumine the scale and scope of the phenomenon of persistence in innovation, and (2) to account for the principal factors that explain why some firms innovates persistently and others do not. Because this book deals intensively and extensively with the subject of firm innovation persistence, which is not, as yet, a well-known term, we need to provide a nontrivial definition of it that encompasses the full range topics we want to address and aids our understanding of how they are related to each other. We begin with a careful identification of "innovation. " Our first definition is drawn from K. Pavitt (2003), "innovation processes involve the exploration and exploitation of opportunities for a new or improved product, process or service, based either on an advance in technical practice or a change in market demand, or a combination of the two. " While this definition is clear, and conforms well to both our empirical and theoretical perspectives, some elaboration may help to clarify the concept.
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