IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/respol/v38y2009i5p700-709.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Demand-pull, technology-push, and government-led incentives for non-incremental technical change

Author

Listed:
  • Nemet, Gregory F.

Abstract

Rising expectations about future demand for new technologies increase the incentives for investments in innovation by enlarging payoffs to successful innovations. How well does this notion of "demand-pull" apply to non-incremental technological change when demand is largely attributable to actions by governments? In this case, inventors of the most important inventions did not respond positively to strong demand-pull policies; filing of highly cited patents declined precipitously just as demand for wind power created a multi-billion dollar market. Three explanations for this apparent inconsistency with the demand-pull hypothesis played a role: (1) the rapid convergence on a single dominant design limited the market opportunity for non-incremental technical improvements; (2) even though the policies implemented were stringent enough to stimulate demand, uncertainty in their longevity dampened the incentives for inventions that were likely to take several years to pay off; and (3) alternative explanations, such as declining R&D funding and weakening presidential engagement on energy, appear to have been important.

Suggested Citation

  • Nemet, Gregory F., 2009. "Demand-pull, technology-push, and government-led incentives for non-incremental technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 700-709, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:5:p:700-709
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048-7333(09)00008-0
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Walsh, Vivien, 1984. "Invention and innovation in the chemical industry: Demand-pull or discovery-push?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 211-234, August.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Market Value and Patent Citations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 16-38, Spring.
    3. Miketa, Asami & Schrattenholzer, Leo, 2004. "Experiments with a methodology to model the role of R&D expenditures in energy technology learning processes; first results," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(15), pages 1679-1692, October.
    4. Garud, Raghu & Karnoe, Peter, 2003. "Bricolage versus breakthrough: distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 277-300, February.
    5. Nemet, Gregory F. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 746-755, January.
    6. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, 1998. "Measuring the Social Return to R&D," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1119-1135.
    8. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
    9. Raymond Vernon, 1966. "International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 190-207.
    10. Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1993. "In search of useful theory of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 108-108, April.
    11. Verbong, Geert & Geels, Frank, 2007. "The ongoing energy transition: Lessons from a socio-technical, multi-level analysis of the Dutch electricity system (1960-2004)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1025-1037, February.
    12. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
    13. K. J. Arrow, 1971. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: F. H. Hahn (ed.), Readings in the Theory of Growth, chapter 11, pages 131-149, Palgrave Macmillan.
    14. Arthur, W. Brian, 2007. "The structure of invention," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 274-287, March.
    15. Goolsbee, Austan, 1998. "Does Government R&D Policy Mainly Benefit Scientists and Engineers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 298-302, May.
    16. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
    17. David, Paul A. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Toole, Andrew A., 2000. "Is public R&D a complement or substitute for private R&D? A review of the econometric evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 497-529, April.
    18. Freeman, Chris & Louca, Francisco, 2002. "As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199251056.
    19. Dahlin, Kristina B. & Behrens, Dean M., 2005. "When is an invention really radical?: Defining and measuring technological radicalness," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 717-737, June.
    20. Freeman, Chris, 1994. "The Economics of Technical Change," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(5), pages 463-514, October.
    21. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    22. Rosenberg,Nathan, 1994. "Exploring the Black Box," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521459556, December.
    23. Klevorick, Alvin K. & Levin, Richard C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1995. "On the sources and significance of interindustry differences in technological opportunities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 185-205, March.
    24. Klaassen, Ger & Miketa, Asami & Larsen, Katarina & Sundqvist, Thomas, 2005. "The impact of R&D on innovation for wind energy in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 227-240, August.
    25. Kristina Dahlin & Deans M. Behrens, 2005. "When is an invention really radical? Defining and measuring technological radicalness," Post-Print hal-00480416, HAL.
    26. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953.
    27. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    28. Jacobsson, Staffan & Lauber, Volkmar, 2006. "The politics and policy of energy system transformation--explaining the German diffusion of renewable energy technology," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 256-276, February.
    29. René Kemp, 1997. "Environmental Policy and Technical Change," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1187.
    30. Lichtenberg, Frank R., 1986. "Energy prices and induced innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 67-75, April.
    31. Nathan ROSENBERG, 2009. "Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Studies On Science And The Innovation Process Selected Works of Nathan Rosenberg, chapter 11, pages 225-234, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    32. Requate, Till, 2005. "Dynamic incentives by environmental policy instruments--a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 175-195, August.
    33. Buen, Jorund, 2006. "Danish and Norwegian wind industry: The relationship between policy instruments, innovation and diffusion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3887-3897, December.
    34. Mowery, David & Rosenberg, Nathan, 1993. "The influence of market demand upon innovation: A critical review of some recent empirical studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 107-108, April.
    35. Astrand, K. & Neij, L., 2006. "An assessment of governmental wind power programmes in Sweden--using a systems approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 277-296, February.
    36. Per Dannemand Andersen, 2004. "Sources of experience – theoretical considerations and empirical observations from Danish wind energy technology," International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1/2), pages 33-51.
    37. Kleinknecht, Alfred & Verspagen, Bart, 1990. "Demand and innovation: Schmookler re-examined," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 387-394, August.
    38. Daniel A. Levinthal & James G. March, 1993. "The myopia of learning," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(S2), pages 95-112, December.
    39. Nile W. Hatch & David C. Mowery, 1998. "Process Innovation and Learning by Doing in Semiconductor Manufacturing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(11-Part-1), pages 1461-1477, November.
    40. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1974. "Science, Invention and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(333), pages 90-108, March.
    41. Richard R. Nelson, 1988. "Modelling the Connections in the Cross Section between Technical Progress and R&D Intensity," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 478-485, Autumn.
    42. Sagar, Ambuj D. & van der Zwaan, Bob, 2006. "Technological innovation in the energy sector: R&D, deployment, and learning-by-doing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2601-2608, November.
    43. David Popp, 2002. "Induced Innovation and Energy Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 160-180, March.
    44. Scherer, F M, 1982. "Demand-Pull and Technological Invention: Schmookler Revisited," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 225-237, March.
    45. Nikolaos Kouvaritakis & Antonio Soria & Stephane Isoard, 2000. "Modelling energy technology dynamics: methodology for adaptive expectations models with learning by doing and learning by searching," International Journal of Global Energy Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 14(1/2/3/4), pages 104-115.
    46. Schmookler, Jacob, 1962. "Economic Sources of Inventive Activity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-20, March.
    47. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1969. "The Direction of Technological Change: Inducement Mechanisms and Focusing Devices," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 1-24, Part I Oc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jin, Wei & Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2014. "Explaining the Slow Pace of Energy Technological Innovation Why Market Conditions Matter?," Energy: Resources and Markets 165758, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    2. Cohen, Wesley M., 2010. "Fifty Years of Empirical Studies of Innovative Activity and Performance," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 129-213, Elsevier.
    3. Dosi, Giovanni & Nelson, Richard R., 2010. "Technical Change and Industrial Dynamics as Evolutionary Processes," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 51-127, Elsevier.
    4. Cantner, Uwe & Graf, Holger & Herrmann, Johannes & Kalthaus, Martin, 2016. "Inventor networks in renewable energies: The influence of the policy mix in Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 1165-1184.
    5. Taalbi, Josef, 2017. "What drives innovation? Evidence from economic history," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1437-1453.
    6. Vivarelli, Marco, 2018. "Globalisation, structural change and innovation in emerging economies: The impact on employment and skills," MERIT Working Papers 2018-037, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. José García-Quevedo & Gabriele Pellegrino & Marco Vivarelli, 2011. "The determinants of YICs’ R&D activity," Working Papers 2011/31, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    8. García-Quevedo, José & Pellegrino, Gabriele & Vivarelli, Marco, 2014. "R&D drivers and age: Are young firms different?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1544-1556.
    9. Giovanni Dosi & Richard R. Nelson, 2013. "The Evolution of Technologies: An Assessment of the State-of-the-Art," Eurasian Business Review, Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 3(1), pages 3-46, Spring.
    10. Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "The middle income trap: a way out based on technological and structural change," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 159-193, August.
    11. Harabi, Najib, 1994. "Technischer Fortschritt in der Schweiz: Empirische Ergebnisse aus industrieökonomischer Sicht [Technischer Fortschritt in der Schweiz:Empirische Ergebnisse aus industrieökonomischer Sicht]," MPRA Paper 6725, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. García-Quevedo, José & Pellegrino, Gabriele & Vivarelli, Marco, 2011. "R&D Drivers in Young Innovative Companies," IZA Discussion Papers 6136, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Marco Vivarelli, 2015. "Structural Change and Innovation in Developing Economies: A Way Out of the Middle Income Trap ?," LEM Papers Series 2015/09, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    14. Tiziana Di Cimbrini & Fabrizio Maturo & Stefania Migliori & Francesco Paolone, 2018. "Innovation Propensity in the Specialized Suppliers Industry," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 11(10), pages 129-148, October.
    15. José García-Quevedo & Gabriele Pellegrino & Marco Vivarelli, 2011. "The determinants of YIc's R&D activity," Working Papers XREAP2011-20, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Dec 2011.
    16. Bastian Rake, 2017. "Determinants of pharmaceutical innovation: the role of technological opportunities revisited," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 691-727, September.
    17. Vivarelli, Marco, 2014. "Structural Change and Innovation as Exit Strategies from the Middle Income Trap," IZA Discussion Papers 8148, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Bossink, Bart, 2020. "Learning strategies in sustainable energy demonstration projects: What organizations learn from sustainable energy demonstrations," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    19. Jin, Wei & Zhang, ZhongXiang, "undated". "Product Homogeneity, Knowledge Spillovers, and Innovation: Why Energy Sector is Perplexed by a Slow Pace of Technological Progress," Working Papers 249504, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
    20. Hoppmann, Joern & Wu, Geng & Johnson, Jillian, 2021. "The impact of demand-pull and technology-push policies on firms’ knowledge search," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 170(C).

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:5:p:700-709. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.