UCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series No. WP22/01
University College Dublin, UCD School of Economics, Dublin
We provide new evidence on the effects of competition on incumbents' innovative behavior by examining the rise of FinTech start-ups over the period 2000-2016. We employ machine learning techniques to classify a large global sample of patent applications into five FinTech categories. We exploit the variation in the share of FinTech patent applications by non-financial startups to incumbent financial firms to measure competitive pressures from outside the financial industry. We show that higher competitive pressures from nonfinancial start-ups increases the probability that financial incumbents innovate. Moreover, competition from start-ups results in a higher number of FinTech patent applications by financial incumbents as compared to non-financial firms, especially when the innovations of FinTech start-ups are more important, as proxied by future patent citations count.