Title: A Technology-Based Classification of Firms: Can We Learn Something Looking Beyond Industry Classifications?
Citation: ENTROPY vol. 20 no. 11 p. 887
Publisher: MDPI AG
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC113616
ISSN: 1099-4300 (online)
URI: http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/20/11/887/htm
DOI: 10.3390/e20110887
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In this work we use clustering techniques to identify groups of firms competing in similar technological markets. Our clustering properly highlights technological similarities grouping together firms normally classified in different industrial sectors. Technological development leads to a continuous changing structure of industries and firms. For this reason, we propose a data driven approach to classify firms together allowing for fast adaptation of the classification to the changing technological landscape. In this respect we differentiate from previous taxonomic exercises of industries and innovation which are based on more general common features. In our empirical application, we use patent data as a proxy for the firms’ capabilities of developing new solutions in different technological fields. On this basis, we extract what we define a Technologically Driven Classification (TDC). In order to validate the result of our exercise we use information theory to look at the amount of information explained by our clustering and the amount of information shared with an industrial classification. All-in-all, our approach provides a good grouping of firms on the basis of their technological capabilities and represents an attractive option to compare firms in the technological space and better characterise competition in technological markets.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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