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Technological frontiers and competition in multi-technology sectors


  • Andrea Bonaccorsi
  • Paola Giuri
  • Francesca Pierotti


This article aims to investigate some conceptual and methodological issues on the measurement of technological change in multi-technology product sectors. It develops a methodological contribution by building a measure of the technological frontier and of firms' technological positioning based on multiple technical characteristics by using data envelopment analysis techniques. The methodology is applied to the study of the technological evolution and competition in the commercial jet aero-engine industry from 1958 to 1997. The empirical analysis shows that: the overall evolution is characterised by technological discontinuities, followed by incremental developments; there is convergence on the technological frontier by all competitors; at the same time, there is persistence of less efficient products over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Bonaccorsi & Paola Giuri & Francesca Pierotti, 2005. "Technological frontiers and competition in multi-technology sectors," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1-2), pages 23-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:14:y:2005:i:1-2:p:23-42 DOI: 10.1080/1043859042000228660

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Giuri, Paola, 2001. "Network structure and industrial dynamics. The long-term evolution of the aircraft-engine industry," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 201-233, July.
    2. Frenken, Koen & Saviotti, Paolo P. & Trommetter, Michel, 1999. "Variety and niche creation in aircraft, helicopters, motorcycles and microcomputers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 469-488, June.
    3. Fried, Harold O. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Shelton S. (ed.), 1993. "The Measurement of Productive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072181, June.
    4. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Paola Giuri, 2001. "Learning, technological competition and network structure in the aero-engine industry," LEM Papers Series 2001/11, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    5. Saviotti, P. P. & Metcalfe, J. S., 1984. "A theoretical approach to the construction of technological output indicators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 141-151, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gianmaria Martini & Davide Scotti, 2009. "Potere di mercato e distribuzione dei profitti nella filiera del trasporto aereo," Working Papers 0906, Department of Economics and Technology Management, University of Bergamo.
    2. Uwe Cantner & Jens J. Krüger & René Söllner, 2012. "Product quality, product price, and share dynamics in the German compact car market," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(5), pages 1085-1115, October.
    3. Gilbert, Brett Anitra, 2012. "Creative destruction: Identifying its geographic origins," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 734-742.


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