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Pfadabhängigkeit und Pfadelastizität von Innovationssystemen: die deutsche und japanische Softwareindustrie


  • Simone Strambach
  • Cornelia Storz


Despite the increasing global integration of economic activities, technological specialisations of national innovation systems and comparative strengths associated thereby only change slowly. Germany and Japan, whose innovation systems similarly feature an industry-based profile, own relatively stable strengths concerning innovative activity in high-value technologies. This originates from the path-dependent development of innovation systems and resultant complementary institutional arrangements influencing rate and direction of innovative activities and competence building. Concurrently these settings may possibly constrict innovative developments in other sectors, especially in the knowledge-intensive service industries like the software industry, as it has been shown for Germany and Japan since the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, sub-sectors with worldwide success exist: the German business software industry and the game software industry in Japan. In this article, we explore the causes therefore, considering the "plasticity" of development paths in particular. Technologische Spezialisierungen und damit verbundene komparative Stärken nationaler Innovationssysteme ändern sich trotz zunehmender globaler Integration wirtschaftlicher Tätigkeiten nur langsam. Deutschland und Japan, die ähnlich industriebasierte Innovationsprofile aufweisen, haben relative stabile Innovationsstärken in höherwertigen Technologien. Begründet ist dies in der pfadabhängigen Entwicklung von Innovationssystemen und den daraus resultierenden komplementären institutionellen Arrangements, die Rate und Richtung des Innovationsgeschehens und damit Kompetenzbildung beeinflussen. Gleichzeitig können diese Settings jedoch auch innovative Entwicklungen in anderen, besonders den wissensintensiven Dienstleistungssektoren wie der Softwareindustrie behindern. Gerade für Deutschland und Japan wurde dies seit Mitte der 90er Jahre herausgearbeitet. Gleichwohl konnten sich weltweit erfolgreiche Sub-Sektoren etablieren: die Business-software-Industrie in Deutschland und die Game-software-Industrie in Japan. Wir gehen in diesem Beitrag den Ursachen hierfür nach und berücksichtigen dabei insbesondere die "Plastizität" von Pfaden.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Strambach & Cornelia Storz, 2008. "Pfadabhängigkeit und Pfadelastizität von Innovationssystemen: die deutsche und japanische Softwareindustrie," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 77(2), pages 142-161.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:77-2-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Innovation system; path plasticity; software; game software;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems


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