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Going Soft: How the Rise of Software-Based Innovation Led to the Decline of Japan's IT Industry and the Resurgence of Silicon Valley

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Author Info

  • Ashish Arora

    (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, and NBER)

  • Lee G. Branstetter

    (Carnegie Mellon University and NBER)

  • Matej Drev

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

Abstract

This paper documents a systematic shift in the nature of innovation in information technology (IT) toward increasing dependence on software. Using a broad panel of U.S. and Japanese publicly listed IT firms in the period 1983 to 2004, we show that this change in the nature of IT innovation had differential effects on the performance of the IT industries in the United States and Japan, resulting in U.S. firms increasingly outperforming their Japanese counterparts, particularly in more software-intensive sectors. We provide suggestive evidence that human resource constraints played a role in preventing Japanese firms from adapting to the documented shift in IT innovation. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 757-775

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:3:p:757-775

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Related research

Keywords: information technology; software; Japan; Silicon Valley;

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References

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  1. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Americans Do IT Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 167-201, February.
  2. Ashish Arora & Lee G. Branstetter & Matej Drev, 2011. "Going Soft: How the Rise of Software Based Innovation Led to the Decline of Japan's IT Industry and the Resurgence of Silicon Valley," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-199, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Dudley, Leonard & Moenius, Johannes, 2007. "The great realignment: How factor-biased innovation reshaped comparative advantage in the U.S. and Japan, 1970-1992," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 112-132, January.
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  7. Jennifer Hunt & Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle, 2010. "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 31-56, April.
  8. Dale W. Jorgenson & Koji Nomura, 2005. "The Industry Origins of Japanese Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 11800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Magnus Blomström & Jennifer Corbett & Fumio Hayashi & Anil Kashyap, 2003. "Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blom03-1.
  10. Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, 2005. "Outsourcing and Skill Imports: Foreign High-Skilled Workers on H-1B and L-1 Visas in the United States," Working Paper Series WP05-15, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  11. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  13. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2008. "The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-005, Harvard Business School.
  14. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1996. "Flows of Knowledge from Universities and Federal Labs: Modeling the Flowof Patent Citations Over Time and Across Institutional and Geographic Boundari," NBER Working Papers 5712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Iain M. Cockburn & Megan MacGarvie, 2007. "Patents, Thickets, and the Financing of Early-Stage Firms: Evidence from the Software Industry," NBER Working Papers 13644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. James Bessen & Robert M. Hunt, 2004. "An empirical look at software patents," Working Papers 03-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Sadao Nagaoka, 2007. "Assessing the R&D Management of a Firm in Terms of Speed and Science Linkage: Evidence from the US Patents," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 129-156, 03.
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Cited by:
  1. Ashish Arora & Lee G. Branstetter & Matej Drev, 2010. "Going Soft: How the Rise of Software Based Innovation Led to the Decline of Japan's IT Industry and the Resurgence of Silicon Valley," NBER Working Papers 16156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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