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Technological Expectations And The Diffusion Of 'Intermediate' Technologies


  • Francesco Lissoni


The concept of 'technological expectations' has established itself as a key one in the smdy of innovation adoption. The article suggests that it may help explaining not just the adopters' timing decisions, but also their decisions regarding the kind of innovation they adopt. Innova tions that set the technological frontier face the competitive diffusion of some 'intemdiate' technologies. These may be either old technologies or 'midrange' ones. which purposefully lag behind the frontier, in order to impose lower adoption costs to their users. Taking into account midrange innovations casts new light on the supply side of the diffu sion process. in terms of technological variety and selection effects. Drawing examples from the electronic colour pre-press industry, we highlight the equipment suppliers' anxious quest for the successful midrange innovation, able to hit the right txade-off between proximity to the frontier and adoption costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Lissoni, 2000. "Technological Expectations And The Diffusion Of 'Intermediate' Technologies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(6), pages 487-516.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:9:y:2000:i:6:p:487-516 DOI: 10.1080/10438590000000020

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred & Reijnen, Jeroen O N, 1993. "Employment Growth and Innovation at the Firm Level," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 153-159, May.
    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    6. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    7. Diewert, W E, 1971. "An Application of the Shephard Duality Theorem: A Generalized Leontief Production Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 481-507, May-June.
    8. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
    9. Julian R. Betts, 1997. "The Skill Bias Of Technological Change In Canadian Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 146-150, February.
    10. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1993. "Labor Demand and the Source of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 4394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Sanjeev Dewan & Chung-ki Min, 1997. "The Substitution of Information Technology for Other Factors of Production: A Firm Level Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1660-1675, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rossi, Federica, 2002. "An introductory overview of innovation studies," MPRA Paper 9106, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2008.
    2. David Popp, 2006. "Exploring Links Between Innovation and Diffusion: Adoption of NOx Control Technologies at U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants," NBER Working Papers 12119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gil, Nuno & Miozzo, Marcela & Massini, Silvia, 2012. "The innovation potential of new infrastructure development: An empirical study of Heathrow airport's T5 project," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 452-466.


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