IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Technological Extinctions of Industrial Firms: An Inquiry into Their Nature and Causes


  • Klepper, Steven
  • Simons, Kenneth L


After a buildup in the number of firms, new industries commonly experience a "shakeout" in which the number of firms declines sharply. Three theoretical perspectives on how technological change contributes to industry shakeouts are analyzed. The theories are used to synthesize predictions concerning technological change and industry evolution. The predictions inform an analysis of four US industries that experienced sharp shakeouts: automobiles, tires, televisions and penicillin. Using data on firm participation and innovation from the commercial inception of the four products through their formative eras, we uncover regularities in how the products evolved. The regularities suggest that shakeouts are not triggered by particular technological innovations nor by dominant designs, but by an evolutionary process in which technological innovation contributes to a mounting dominance by some early-entering firms. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Klepper, Steven & Simons, Kenneth L, 1997. "Technological Extinctions of Industrial Firms: An Inquiry into Their Nature and Causes," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 379-460, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:6:y:1997:i:2:p:379-460

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:oup:indcch:v:6:y:1997:i:2:p:379-460. 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: (Oxford University Press). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.