Abstract: Large Sample Analysis and Firm-Level Business History: Understanding the Long-Term Relationship between Firm Size and Innovativeness

Harald Degner


In my paper I investigate the relationship between size and innovativeness of firms in the long-term perspective. To this day, the so-called Schumpeterian hypothesis about an above-average innovativeness of large firms has been neither confirmed nor rejected, often because of insufficient data or a too-short observation period. Many studies concentrate only on a specific region or a specific sector, or they analyze a very short period of time. In contrast, this analysis is based on a completely new dataset containing every long-lived patent in the German Empire and the Weimar Republic (1877-1932). The dataset contains 66,500 entries concerning economically relevant innovations. Firm size is measured by employment and capital stock.