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The central prediction of the Aghion et al. (2005) model is an inverted U-shaped relation between innovation and competition. The model is built on the assumption of a product market and has not yet been empirically tested on service-sector firms. Using detailed firm-level data, the authors find the inverse U-shaped relation to hold for both small and large service-sector firms. However, non-exporting service firms deviate from the overall pattern. A more detailed breakdown of innovation expenditures shows that the inverse U-shaped pattern holds for both intramural R&D and training, but not for extramural R&D. Finally, as competition increases, small firms tend to seek more strategic alliances with competitors while large firms tend to decrease their collaboration with competitors.
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