Innovation and firm growth in high-tech sectors: A quantile regression approach

Alex Coad*, Rekha Rao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

588 Citations (Scopus)


We relate innovation to sales growth for incumbent firms in high-tech sectors. A firm, on average, experiences only modest growth and may grow for a number of reasons that may or may not be related to innovative activity. However, given that the returns to innovation are highly skewed and that growth rates distributions are heavy-tailed, it may be misleading to use regression techniques that focus on the 'average effect for the average firm'. Using a quantile regression approach, we observe that innovation is of crucial importance for a handful of 'superstar' fast-growth firms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-648
Number of pages16
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Fast-growth firms
  • Firm growth
  • Innovation
  • Patents
  • Quantile regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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