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Vertical Integration and Dis-integration of Computer Firms: A History Friendly Model of the Co-evolution of the Computer and Semiconductor Industries

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  • Franco Malerba
  • Richard Nelson
  • Luigi Orsenigo
  • Sidney Winter

Abstract

In this paper we present a history-friendly model of the changing vertical scope of computer firms during the evolution of the computer and semiconductor industries. The model is "history friendly", in that it attempts at replicating some basic, stylized qualitative features of the evolution of vertical integration on the basis of the causal mechanisms and processes which we believe can explain the history. The specific question addressed in the model is set in the context of dynamic and uncertain technological and market environments, characterized by periods of technological revolutions punctuating periods of relative technological stability and smooth technical progress. The model illustrates how the patterns of vertical integration and specialization in the computer industry change as a function of the evolving levels and distribution of firms' capabilities over time and how they depend on the co-evolution of the upstream and downstream sectors. Specific conditions in each of these markets - the size of the external market, the magnitude of the technological discontinuities, the lock-in effects in demand - exert critical effects and feedbacks on market structure and on the vertical scope of firms as time goes by. Length 32 pages

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2006-19.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2006-19

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  1. Utterback, James M & Abernathy, William J, 1975. "A dynamic model of process and product innovation," Omega, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 3(6), pages 639-656, December.
  2. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Aghion, Philippe & David, Paul A. & Foray, Dominique, 2009. "Science, technology and innovation for economic growth: Linking policy research and practice in 'STIG Systems'," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 681-693, May.
  2. Christian Garavaglia & Franco Malerba & Luigi Orsenigo & Michele Pezzoni, 2012. "Technological regimes and demand structure in the evolution of the pharmaceutical industry," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 677-709, September.
  3. Malerba, Franco & Nelson, Richard & Orsenigo, Luigi & Winter, Sidney, 2008. "Public policies and changing boundaries of firms in a "history-friendly" model of the co-evolution of the computer and semiconductor industries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 355-380, August.
  4. Antonio Revilla & Zulima Fernández, 2013. "Environmental Dynamism, Firm Size and the Economic Productivity of R&D," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(6), pages 503-522, August.
  5. Christian Garavaglia & Franco Malerba & Luigi Orsenigo & Michele Pezzoni, 2014. "Innovation and Market Structure in Pharmaceuticals: An Econometric Analysis on Simulated Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 234(2-3), pages 274-298, April.
  6. Marie-Claude BELIS-BERGOUIGNAN (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2009. "An evolutionist analysis of sectoral dynamics (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée 2009-18, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

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