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The hunt for S-shaped growth paths in technological innovation: a patent study

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  • Birgitte Andersen

    () (ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition , The University of Manchester, Tom Lupton Suite, University Precinct Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9QH, UK)

Abstract

Since the works by the business cycle theorists in the 1930s, no attempts have been made to study empirically the long term evolution paths of individual technologies starting with long time series. This is an empirical exploration and confirmation of the now almost assumed image or metaphor of the way technology develops; that it follows an S-shaped growth path which is commonly associated with a similar shaped diffusion function of entrepreneurial activity. The paper also confirms the diversity of technology dynamics and explores how technological cycle takeoffs appear to be clustered within certain historical epochs. The results have implications for our understanding of the evolution paths of individual technologies, and of the evolution of technological systems and waves of innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Birgitte Andersen, 1999. "The hunt for S-shaped growth paths in technological innovation: a patent study," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 487-526.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:9:y:1999:i:4:p:487-526
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kriedel, Norbert, 2006. "Long waves of economic development and the diffusion of general-purpose technologies: The case of railway networks," HWWI Research Papers 1-1, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:91:y:2012:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0635-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fulvio Castellacci, 2004. "A neo-Schumpeterian Approach to Why Growth Rates Differ," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(6), pages 1145-1169.
    4. Dedehayir, Ozgur & Steinert, Martin, 2016. "The hype cycle model: A review and future directions," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 28-41.
    5. Sternitzke, Christian, 2010. "Knowledge sources, patent protection, and commercialization of pharmaceutical innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 810-821, July.
    6. Lafond, F., 2014. "The size of patent categories: USPTO 1976-2006," MERIT Working Papers 060, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Xia Fan & Wenjie Liu & Guilong Zhu, 2017. "Scientific linkage and technological innovation capabilities: international comparisons of patenting in the solar energy industry," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(1), pages 117-138, April.
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:94:y:2013:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0891-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chang, Shu-Hao & Fan, Chin-Yuan, 2016. "Identification of the technology life cycle of telematics: A patent-based analytical perspective," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-10.
    10. 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.
    11. Francesco Quatraro, 2009. "The diffusion of regional innovation capabilities: Evidence from Italian patent data," Post-Print halshs-00727623, HAL.
    12. Haupt, Reinhard & Kloyer, Martin & Lange, Marcus, 2007. "Patent indicators for the technology life cycle development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 387-398, April.
    13. VAN DEN OORD, Ad & VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen & DUYSTERS, Geert & GILSING, Victor, 2010. "The ecology of technology: An empirical study of US biotechnology patents from 1976 to 2003," Working Papers 2010006, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    14. Francois Lafond & Daniel Kim, 2017. "Long-run dynamics of the U.S. patent classification system," Papers 1703.02104, arXiv.org.
    15. Fusari, Angelo & Reati, Angelo, 2013. "Endogenizing technical change: Uncertainty, profits, entrepreneurship. A long-term view of sectoral dynamics," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 76-100.
    16. Lizin, Sebastien & Leroy, Julie & Delvenne, Catherine & Dijk, Marc & De Schepper, Ellen & Van Passel, Steven, 2013. "A patent landscape analysis for organic photovoltaic solar cells: Identifying the technology's development phase," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 5-11.
    17. Schmidt, Arne & Walter, Sascha G. & Walter, Achim, 2010. "Contingency Factors and the Technology-Performance-Relationship in Start-ups," EconStor Preprints 37082, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    18. Islam, M.R. & Mekhilef, S. & Saidur, R., 2013. "Progress and recent trends of wind energy technology," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 456-468.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Schumpeterian perspectives - Innovation cycles - Logistic biological growth - Patents - Diversity of technology dynamics and clusters;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • P49 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Other

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