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Catch-up cycles and changes in industrial leadership:Windows of opportunity and responses of firms and countries in the evolution of sectoral systems

Listed author(s):
  • Lee, Keun
  • Malerba, Franco
Registered author(s):

This study proposes a framework that aims to explain why successive changes in industry leadership (called also the catch-up cycle) occur over time in a sector. In catch-up cycles, latecomer firms and countries emerge as international leaders, whereas incumbents lose their previous positions. New leaders are then dethroned by newcomers. To identify factors at the base of catch-up cycles, this article adopts a sectoral system framework and identifies windows of opportunity that may emerge during the long-run evolution of an industry. This study proposes three windows related to the specific dimensions of a sectoral system. One dimension is related to changes in knowledge and technology. The second dimension pertains to changes in demand, and the third includes changes in institutions and public policy. The combination of the opening of a window (technological, demand, or institutional/policy) and the responses of firms and other components of the sectoral system of the latecomer and incumbent countries determines changes in industrial leadership and catch-up. Sectors differ according to the type of windows that may open and the responses of firms and other components of systems. Empirical evidence of catch-up cycles is presented from six sectors, namely mobile phones, cameras, semiconductors, steel, mid-sized jets, and wines.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 46 (2017)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 338-351

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:2:p:338-351
DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.09.006
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  1. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
  2. Lee, Keun & Lim, Chaisung, 2001. "Technological regimes, catching-up and leapfrogging: findings from the Korean industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 459-483, March.
  3. Fagerberg, Jan & Srholec, Martin & Knell, Mark, 2007. "The Competitiveness of Nations: Why Some Countries Prosper While Others Fall Behind," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1595-1620, October.
  4. Samira Guennif & Shyama Ramani, 2012. "Explaining divergence in catching-up in pharmaceuticals between India and Brazil using the National System Innovation framework," Post-Print hal-01345868, HAL.
  5. Sunil Mani, 2005. "The Dragon vs the Elephant: Comparative analysis of innovation capability in the telecommunications equipment industry in China and India," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 373, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
  6. Keun Lee & Sunil Mani & Qing Mu, 2012. "Explaining Divergent Stories of Catch-up in the Telecommunication Equipment Industry in Brazil, China, India and Korea," Chapters,in: Economic Development as a Learning Process, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  7. Fagerberg, Jan, 1988. "International Competitiveness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 355-374, June.
  8. Morrison, Andrea & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2017. "Gradual catch up and enduring leadership in the global wine industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 417-430.
  9. Lall, Sanjaya, 2001. "Competitiveness Indices and Developing Countries: An Economic Evaluation of the Global Competitiveness Report," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1501-1525, September.
  10. Shin, Jang-Sup, 2017. "Dynamic catch-up strategy, capability expansion and changing windows of opportunity in the memory industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 404-416.
  11. Shulin Gu & Bengt-Åke Lundvall & Ju Liu & Franco Malerba & Sylvia Schwaag Serger, 2009. "China's System and Vision of Innovation: An Analysis in Relation to the Strategic Adjustment and the Medium- to Long-Term S&T Development Plan (2006-20)," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4-5), pages 369-388.
  12. Franco Malerba & Richard Nelson, 2011. "Learning and catching up in different sectoral systems: evidence from six industries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1645-1675, December.
  13. Kang, Hyo & Song, Jaeyong, 2017. "Innovation and recurring shifts in industrial leadership: Three phases of change and persistence in the camera industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 376-387.
  14. Keun Lee & Tae Young Park & Rishikesha T. Krishnan, 2014. "Catching-up or Leapfrogging in the Indian IT Service Sector: Windows of Opportunity, Path-creating, and Moving up the Value Chain," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 32(4), pages 495-518, July.
  15. Mu, Qing & Lee, Keun, 2005. "Knowledge diffusion, market segmentation and technological catch-up: The case of the telecommunication industry in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 759-783, August.
  16. Landini, Fabio & Lee, Keun & Malerba, Franco, 2017. "A history-friendly model of the successive changes in industrial leadership and the catch-up by latecomers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 431-446.
  17. Lee, Keun & Ki, Jee-hoon, 2017. "Rise of latecomers and catch-up cycles in the world steel industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 365-375.
  18. Claudio Giachetti & Gianluca Marchi, 2010. "Evolution of firms' product strategy over the life cycle of technology-based industries: A case study of the global mobile phone industry, 1980-2009," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(7), pages 1123-1150.
  19. Yoon-Zi Kim & Keun Lee, 2008. "Sectoral Innovation System and a Technological Catch-up: The Case of the Capital Goods Industry in Korea," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 135-155.
  20. Fagerberg, Jan, 1988. "International Competitiveness: Errata," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1203-1203, December.
  21. Jan Fagerberg & Martin Srholec & Bart Verspagen, 2010. "The Role of Innovation in Development," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 1(2).
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