We estimate the determinants of various types of product innovation. Knowledge spillovers from rivals have a positive impact on incremental innovations. This impact is largely independent of the participation in R&D cooperations. Spillovers exert no such independent influence on drastic innovation activities. The results support the hypothesis that establishments face difficulties in using knowledge that comes from areas they are not familiar with. Establishments exploit spillovers for incremental innovations rather than for drastic innovations. To a limited degree R&D cooperations can help to overcome the difficulties in using spillovers for drastic innovations. Furthermore, our estimates provide evidence that a firm’s own R&D effort and the use of outside information are substitutive.

Jirjahn, Uwe and Kornelius Kraft (2006), Do Spillovers Stimulate Incremental or Drastic Product Innovations? - Hypotheses and Evidence from German Establishment Data, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 06-023, Mannheim, published in: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics. Download


Jirjahn, Uwe
Kraft, Kornelius


New Products, Patents, Spillovers, Learning, R&D