The Rise and Fall of R&D Networks

Industrial and Corporate Change (2016), doi: 10.1093/icc/dtw041

40 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2016 Last revised: 1 Nov 2016

Mario Vincenzo Tomasello

ETH Zurich

Mauro Napoletano

Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE); SKEMA Business School; Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa - Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM)

Antonios Garas

Chair of Systems Design Department of Management, Technology and Economics

Frank Schweitzer

ETH Zürich

Date Written: March 17, 2016

Abstract

Drawing on a large database of publicly announced R&D alliances, we empirically investigate the evolution of R&D networks and the process of alliance formation in several manufacturing sectors over a 24-year period (1986-2009). Our goal is to empirically evaluate the temporal and sectoral robustness of a large set of network indicators, thus providing a more complete description of R&D networks with respect to the existing literature. We find that most network properties are not only invariant across sectors, but also independent of the scale of aggregation at which they are observed, and we highlight the presence of core-periphery architectures in explaining some properties emphasized in previous empirical studies (e.g. asymmetric degree distributions and small worlds). In addition, we show that many properties of R&D networks are characterized by a rise-and-fall dynamics with a peak in the mid-nineties. We find that such dynamics is driven by mechanisms of accumulative advantage, structural homophily and multiconnectivity. In particular, the change from the "rise" to the "fall" phase is associated to a structural break in the importance of multiconnectivity.

Keywords: R&D alliance; Interfirm network; Complex network; Network evolution; Econometric study

JEL Classification: O32, D21, D23, D71, C51, C81, L16

Suggested Citation

Tomasello, Mario Vincenzo and Napoletano, Mauro and Garas, Antonios and Schweitzer, Frank, The Rise and Fall of R&D Networks (March 17, 2016). Industrial and Corporate Change (2016), doi: 10.1093/icc/dtw041. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2749230 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2749230

Mario Vincenzo Tomasello (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich ( email )

Weinbergstrasse 56/58
WEV G205
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sg.ethz.ch/team/people/mtomasello/

Mauro Napoletano

Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) ( email )

60, rue Dostoïevski
Sophia-Antipolis Cedex, 06902
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr

SKEMA Business School ( email )

60 rue Dostoïevski
Sophia Antipolis, 06902
France

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa - Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM) ( email )

Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33
Pisa, I-56127
Italy

Antonios Garas

Chair of Systems Design Department of Management, Technology and Economics ( email )

Weinbergstrasse 56/58
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

Frank Schweitzer

ETH Zürich ( email )

Weinbergstrasse 56/58
WEV Room G 211
Zurich, CH-8032
Switzerland
+41 44 632 83 50 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sg.ethz.ch

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