Steven Klepper

28 May 2013 at 3:31 pm 3 comments

| Dick Langlois |

I just learned (via Rajshree Agarwal) of the passing, at a young age, of Steven Klepper. Steven was an acquaintance of many years, a stand-up guy as well as a great researcher. His work on the lifecycle of firms and the role of spinoffs is a model for how to do good empirical work in organization and technology. By coincidence, this new paper (with Russell Golman) crossed my screen only a few minutes after I learned the news.

Spinoffs and Clustering

Geographic clustering of industries is typically attributed to localized, pecuniary or non-pecuniary externalities. Recent studies across innovative industries suggest that explosive cluster growth is associated with the entry and success of spinoff firms. We develop a model to explain the patterns regarding cluster growth and spinoff formation and performance, without relying on agglomeration externalities. Clustering naturally follows from spinoffs locating near their parents. In our model, firms grow and spinoffs form through the discovery of new submarkets based on innovation. Rapid and successful innovation creates more opportunities for spinoff entry and drives a region’s growth.

Entry filed under: - Langlois -, Evolutionary Economics, Innovation, People. Tags: .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peter Klein  |  28 May 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Very sad news. He was an unofficial Nobel Laureate for Entrepreneurship: http://organizationsandmarkets.com/2011/01/29/entrepreneurship-nobel-to-steven-klepper/

  • 2. David Hoopes  |  28 May 2013 at 3:59 pm

    “His work on the lifecycle of firms and the role of spinoffs is a model for how to do good empirical work in organization and technology.”
    His tight linking of theory and empiricism is rarely matched.

  • 3. Rob Austin  |  11 July 2013 at 10:47 am

    He was a brilliant teacher as well. I had the privilege of twice being his Teaching Assistant for “Kleppernomics,” his unique take on undergrad micro. He gave me great advice on numerous occasions when I was a grad student. He was a member of my dissertation committee, and I had a hell of a time getting him and Robyn Dawes (another committee member, and a psychologist) to agree on certain details. When I was at CMU, Steve was just getting going on his entrepreneurship research. He’d been pretty much a econometrics methodologist up until then, started off on this new path more or less opportunistically, or so it seemed to me. A good example to us all, to keep our options open and be willing to go in new directions.

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