Category: Research

Declining Industrial Disruption

James Bessen, Erich Denk, Joowon Kim, Cesare Righi

This paper reports the first recent estimates of trends in the displacement of industry-leading firms. Displacement hazards rose for several decades since 1970 but have declined sharply since 2000. Using a production function-based model to explore the role of investments, acquisitions, and lobbying, we find that investments by dominant firms in intangibles, especially software, are distinctly associated with greater persistence and reduced leapfrogging.