Schumpeterian patterns of innovation and the sources of breakthrough inventions: Evidence from a data-set of R&D awards

Roberto Fontana, Alessandro Nuvolari, Hiroshi Shimizu, Andrea Vezzulli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the relationship between Schumpeterian patterns of innovation and the generation of breakthrough inventions. Our data source for breakthrough inventions is the "R&D 100 awards" competition organized each year by the magazine Research & Development. Since 1963, this magazine has been awarding this prize to 100 most technologically significant new products available for sale or licensing in the year preceding the judgment. We use USPTO patent data to measure the relevant dimensions of the technological regime prevailing in each sector and, on this basis, we provide a characterization of each sector in terms of the Schumpeter Mark I/Schumpeter Mark II archetypes. Our main finding is that breakthrough inventions are more likely to emerge in 'turbulent' Schumpeter Mark I type of contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-810
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sep 1



  • Innovation patterns
  • Radical innovations
  • Schumpeter Mark I and Mark II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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