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The hunt for S-shaped growth paths in technological innovation: a patent study

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  • Birgitte Andersen

    ()
    (ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition , The University of Manchester, Tom Lupton Suite, University Precinct Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9QH, UK)

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    Abstract

    Since the works by the business cycle theorists in the 1930s, no attempts have been made to study empirically the long term evolution paths of individual technologies starting with long time series. This is an empirical exploration and confirmation of the now almost assumed image or metaphor of the way technology develops; that it follows an S-shaped growth path which is commonly associated with a similar shaped diffusion function of entrepreneurial activity. The paper also confirms the diversity of technology dynamics and explores how technological cycle takeoffs appear to be clustered within certain historical epochs. The results have implications for our understanding of the evolution paths of individual technologies, and of the evolution of technological systems and waves of innovation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

    Volume (Year): 9 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 487-526

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:9:y:1999:i:4:p:487-526

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    Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00191/index.htm

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    Related research

    Keywords: Schumpeterian perspectives - Innovation cycles - Logistic biological growth - Patents - Diversity of technology dynamics and clusters;

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    Cited by:
    1. VAN DEN OORD, Ad & VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen & DUYSTERS, Geert & GILSING, Victor, 2010. "The ecology of technology: An empirical study of US biotechnology patents from 1976 to 2003," ACED Working Papers 2010008, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    2. Kriedel, Norbert, 2006. "Long waves of economic development and the diffusion of general-purpose technologies: The case of railway networks," HWWI Research Papers 1-1, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    3. Bastian Rake, 2013. "Determinants of Pharmaceutical Innovation: The Role of Technological Opportunities Revisited," DRUID Working Papers 13-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    4. Francesco Quatraro, 2009. "The diffusion of regional innovation capabilities: Evidence from Italian patent data," Post-Print halshs-00727623, HAL.
    5. Haupt, Reinhard & Kloyer, Martin & Lange, Marcus, 2007. "Patent indicators for the technology life cycle development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 387-398, April.
    6. Sternitzke, Christian, 2010. "Knowledge sources, patent protection, and commercialization of pharmaceutical innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 810-821, July.
    7. Fulvio Castellacci, 2004. "A neo-Schumpeterian Approach to Why Growth Rates Differ," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(6), pages 1145-1169.

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