Innovation and Product Reallocation in the Great Recession
81 Pages Posted: 3 May 2017 Last revised: 1 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 2017
We use detailed product- and firm-level data to study the sources of innovation and the patterns of productivity growth over the period from 2007 to 2013. We document several new facts on product reallocation. First, every quarter around 8 percent of products are reallocated in the economy, and the entry and exit of products are prevalent among different types of firms. Second, most reallocation of products occurs within the boundaries of the firm. The entries and exits of firms only make a small contribution in the overall creation and destruction of products. Third, product reallocation is strongly pro-cyclical and declined by more than 25 percent during the Great Recession. This cyclical pattern is almost entirely explained by a decline in within firm reallocation. Motivated by these facts, we study the causes and consequences of reallocation within incumbent firms. As predicted by Schumpeterian growth theories, the rate of product reallocation strongly depends on the innovation efforts of the firms and has important implications for revenue growth, improvements in products' quality, and productivity dynamics. Our estimates suggest that the decline in product reallocation through these margins has contributed greatly to the slow growth experienced after the Great Recession.
Keywords: Innovation, Reallocation, Productivity, Great Recession
JEL Classification: E3, O3, O4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation