How General Are General Purpose Technologies? Evidence from nano-, bio- and ICT-technologies in Finland
AbstractGeneral purpose technologies (GPT) have a significant impact on economic activity through radical technological change and wide technological diffusion. This paper aims to address the generality of technologies associated with the GPT concept. Information and communications technologies (ICT), biotechnology and nanotechnology are viewed as existing or potential general purpose technologies, but there is a lack of empirical evidence of their generality. This paper addresses the argument by using patent, industry and company level data from Finland. The results provide evidence that ICT, as expected, is a GPT. Nanotechnology shows signs of being potentially widely applicable, but for biotechnology the channels of technological diffusion seem to be fewer and more focused on areas where Finnish companies are less active. The results and discussion are also reflected on the newly formed innovation policy instrument in Finland - SHOKs (Strategic centres for science, technology and innovation), which aim to direct a large share of the Finnish public R&D subsidies towards more demand-based and incumbent-driven innovation activity.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 1208.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O38 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-CSE-2009-11-27 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-ICT-2009-11-27 (Information & Communication Technologies)
- NEP-INO-2009-11-27 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2009-11-27 (Intellectual Property Rights)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Paul Romer, 1989.
"Endogenous Technological Change,"
NBER Working Papers
3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Trajtenberg, M. & Bresnahan, T.F., 1992.
"General Purpose Technologies: "Engines of Growth","
16-92, Tel Aviv.
- Nikulainen, Tuomo, 2007. "Identifying Nanotechnological Linkages in the Finnish Economy - An Explorative Study," Discussion Papers 1101, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Lipsey, Richard G. & Carlaw, Kenneth I. & Bekar, Clifford T., 2005. "Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290895, September.
- Nikulainen, Tuomo & Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi, 2009. "Towards Demand Based Innovation Policy? The Introduction of SHOKs as Innovation Policy Instrument," Discussion Papers 1182, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Palmberg, Christopher & Nikulainen, Tuomo, 2006. "Industrial Renewal and Growth through Nanotechnology ? - An Overview with Focus on Finland," Discussion Papers 1020, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi, 2009. "Finnish University Technology Transfer in a Whirl of Changes - a Brief Summary," Discussion Papers 1188, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Rothaermel, Frank T. & Thursby, Marie, 2007. "The nanotech versus the biotech revolution: Sources of productivity in incumbent firm research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 832-849, July.
- Jan Youtie & Maurizio Iacopetta & Stuart Graham, 2008. "Assessing the nature of nanotechnology: can we uncover an emerging general purpose technology?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 315-329, June.
- Maliranta, Mika & Nikulainen, Tuomo, 2008. "Labour Force Paths as Industry Linkages: A Perspective on Clusters and Industry Life Cycles," Discussion Papers 1168, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Hopkins, Michael M. & Martin, Paul A. & Nightingale, Paul & Kraft, Alison & Mahdi, Surya, 2007. "The myth of the biotech revolution: An assessment of technological, clinical and organisational change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 566-589, May.
- Kalm, Matias, 2012. "The Impact of Networking on Firm Performance - Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Firms in Emerging Technology Areas," Discussion Papers 1278, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Evangelos I. Gkanas & Vasso MagkouKriticou & Sofoklis S. Makridis & Athanasios K. Stubos & Ioannis Bakouros, 2013. "Nanotechnology and Innovation, Recent status and the strategic implication for the formation of high tech clusters in Greece, in between a global economic crisis," Papers 1303.5290, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2013.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kaija Hyvönen-Rajecki).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.