Intra-industry firm heterogeneity, myopic adaptation and exit hazard: A fitness landscape approach to firm survival and learning
We draw on insights from the fitness landscape literature and from models of firm dynamics with learning to hypothesize that: (i) firms in industries with higher company age or size heterogeneity have higher exit hazard after controlling for age, size, and a variety of other predictors of firm survival; and (ii) higher levels of R&D investment mitigate the hazard-increasing effects of industry firm heterogeneity after controlling for the direct effects of R&D intensities at industry and firm level. We test for these novel sources of selection with evidence from a panel dataset of 35,136 R&D-active UK firms from 1998 to 2012 and a range of discrete-time hazard estimators. The findings, which remain robust to multiple sensitivity checks, offer two novel contributions to the literature: (i) firm heterogeneity is not just a passive precondition for subsequent selection process in industry evolution; this heterogeneity enhances selection as more firms might be stranded in suboptimal positions; (ii) firms in more heterogenous industries can mitigate the hazard-increasing effects through R&D investment that facilitates adaptation and search for better fitness locations.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
Citation : Trushin, E. and Ugur, M. (2020) Intra-industry firm heterogeneity, myopic adaptation and exit hazard: A fitness landscape approach to firm survival and learning. Economics of Innovation and New Technology,
ISSN : 1043-8599
Research Institute : Institute for Applied Economics and Social Value (IAESV)
Peer Reviewed : Yes