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Public policies and changing boundaries of firms in a "history-friendly" model of the co-evolution of the computer and semiconductor industries

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

In this paper, we explore the effects of alternative policies, ranging from antitrust to public procurement, open standards, information diffusion and basic research support on the dynamics of two vertically related industries in changing and uncertain technological and market environments. The two industries are a system industry and a component industry, and the evolution of these industries is characterized by periods of technological revolutions punctuating periods of relative technological stability and smooth technical progress. We have been inspired by the co-evolution of the computer and component industries from their inceptions to the 1980s. On the basis of that evolution, we have developed a history friendly-model this co-evolution. In sum, this paper has stressed that various types of policies may sometimes have contrasting effects on the industry, mainly on concentration and technical change and innovation. It has also shown that the consequences of policies may spillover from one industry to another, and from one type of firms to another. Policies that aim at a specific industry may provoke major changes in a related industry through the product market, the changing boundaries of firms or knowledge and technological interdependencies. The policy maker has to be aware of that. Finally, a major point of the paper regards the unintended consequences of policies.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 355-380

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:67:y:2008:i:2:p:355-380
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Dawid, Herbert, 2006. "Agent-based Models of Innovation and Technological Change," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 25, pages 1235-1272 Elsevier.
  2. Audretsch, David B. & Baumol, William J. & Burke, Andrew E., 2001. "Competition policy in dynamic markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 613-634, April.
  3. Richard J. Gilbert & Michael L. Katz, 2001. "An Economist's Guide to U.S. v. Microsoft," Industrial Organization 0106001, EconWPA.
  4. Franco Malerba & Richard Nelson & Luigi Orsenigo & Sidney Winter, 2006. "Vertical Integration and Dis-integration of Computer Firms: A History Friendly Model of the Co-evolution of the Computer and Semiconductor Industries," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-19, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  5. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Shane Greenstein, 1997. "Technological Competition and the Structure of the Computer Industry," Working Papers 97028, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  6. Franco Malerba & Richard Nelson & Luigi Orsenigo & Sidney Winter, 2007. "Demand, innovation, and the dynamics of market structure: The role of experimental users and diverse preferences," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 371-399, August.
  7. P. Windrum, 2007. "Neo-Schumpeterian Simulation Models," Chapters, in: Elgar Companion to Neo-Schumpeterian Economics, chapter 26 Edward Elgar.
  8. Thomas Vallée & Murat YıLdızoğlu, 2006. "Social and technological efficiency of patent systems," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 189-206, April.
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