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.
New research finding that firm size, productivity dispersion, and large firm investments in intangibles can account for much of the decline in the response to productivity since 2000, and that industry concentration is directly related to aggregate productivity growth.