Three essays on serial innovator firms and geographical clustering

Thumbnail Image
Libaers, Dirk
Hicks, Diana
Associated Organization(s)
Organizational Unit
Supplementary to
This study aims to elucidate firm and performance attributes of a population of small, elite firms that assume prominent positions in their respective technological spaces and product markets. More specifically, this study addresses the role and impact of industrial agglomeration on the location and performance characteristics of serial innovator firms. The dissertation was conceived as a collection of three distinct but related essays. The first essay on the geographical location of firms with high levels of innovative prowess i.e. serial innovator firms vis-à-vis technology clusters and research universities indicates that these firms are not necessarily located in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with higher average levels of industry clustering than non-serial innovator firms of similar size. Serial innovator firms and their less innovative counterparts appear to have the same need and capacity to absorb knowledge spillovers in technology clusters. Further analysis, however, revealed that serial innovator firms in the Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology and IT hardware industries are located in MSA's with significantly higher levels of regional specialization than non-serial innovator firms in that industry which suggests an asymmetric need for knowledge spillovers by these firms. Furthermore, serial innovator firms seem to be located in MSA's with a significantly higher number of research universities than a non-serial innovator firm although differences across industries can be noted. This again indicates an asymmetric use and need for academic knowledge spillovers and pecuniary advantages offered by these institutions. The analysis in the second essay reveals that serial innovator firms located in MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) with elevated levels of industrial clustering announce significantly more new products than their counterparts located in MSA areas with low levels of industrial clustering. However, no differences in the pace of technological progress of the technologies developed by serial innovator firms located in technology clusters and those outside of clusters was found. Finally, the research reported in the third essay indicates that the level of industrial agglomeration has a positive impact on the export performance of serial innovator firms and that these firms benefit proportionately more from technology clusters than non-serial innovator firms.
Date Issued
Resource Type
Resource Subtype
Rights Statement
Rights URI