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Barriers to Creative Destruction: Large Firms and Nonproductive Strategies
This working paper reviews recent empirical evidence on large firms and nonproductivestrategies that hinder creative destruction and reallocation. The focus is on three types ofnonproductive strategies: political connections, nonproductive patenting, and anticompetitiveacquisitions. Across different contexts using granular micro data sets, we overwhelmingly see that asfirms gain market share, they increasingly rely on nonproductive strategies but reduce theirproductive, innovation-based strategies. I also discuss theoretical channels, aggregate implications,and potentials for some policies.
Connecting to Power: Political Connections, Innovation, and Firm Dynamics
How do political connections affect firm dynamics, innovation, and creative destruction? To answer this question, we build a firm dynamics model, where we allow firms to invest in innovation and/or political connection to advance their productivity and to overcome certain market frictions. Our model generates a number of theoretical testable predictions and highlights a new interaction between static gains and dynamic losses from rent-seeking in aggregate productivity. We test the predictions of our model using a brand-new dataset on Italian firms and their workers. Our dataset spans the ...
Patents to Products: Product Innovation and Firm Dynamics
We study the relationship between patents and actual product innovation in the market, and how this relationship varies with firms’ market share. We use textual analysis to create a new data set that links patents to products of firms in the consumer goods sector. We find that patent filings are positively associated with subsequent product innovation by firms, but at least half of product innovation and growth comes from firms that never patent. We also find that market leaders use patents differently from followers. Market leaders have lower product innovation rates, though they rely on ...
Entrepreneurship through Employee Mobility, Innovation, and Growth
Firm-level productivity differences are big and largely ascribed to ex-ante heterogeneity in the entrepreneurs’ growth potential at birth. Where do these ex-ante differences come from, and what can the policy do to encourage the entry of high-growth entrepreneurs? I study empirically and by means of a quantitative growth model the spinout firms: the firms founded by former employees of the incumbent firms. By focusing on innovating spinouts identified through the inventor mobility in the patent data, I document that spinout entrants significantly outperform regular entrants throughout their ...