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The emergence of the Internet: collective invention and wild ducks

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  • Shane Greenstein

Abstract

How and why did the Internet accumulate so many valuable improvements during the era of US-government sponsorship? The essay interprets the creation of the Internet through the lens of collective invention, focusing attention on the institutional factors that shaped the aspirations of participants and that constrained the realization of those aspirations. The analysis provides insight about why the technology developed beyond its prototype status, and extended the Internet to new users or uses, especially nontechnical users. The essay features the development of email as an illustration. Copyright 2010 The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Shane Greenstein, 2010. "The emergence of the Internet: collective invention and wild ducks," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 1521-1562, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:19:y:2010:i:5:p:1521-1562
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/icc/dtq047
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcelo De Carvalho Pereira, 2014. "When Competition May Hinder Technologydiffusion: The Case Of Internet Access Services In Brazil," Anais do XL Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 40th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 152, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Shane Greenstein, 2011. "Nurturing the Accumulation of Innovations: Lessons from the Internet," NBER Chapters,in: Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors, pages 189-223 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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