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Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry

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  • Irwin, Douglas A
  • Klenow, Peter J

Abstract

The semiconductor industry is often cited as a strategic industry in part because important learning spillovers may justify special industrial policies. Using quarterly, firm-level data on seven generations of dynamic random access memory semiconductors over 1974-92, the authors find that learning rates average 20 percent, firms learn three times more from an additional unit of their own cumulative production than from an additional unit of another firm's cumulative production, learning spills over just as much between firms in different countries as between firms within a given country, and intergenerational learning spillovers are weak. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:102:y:1994:i:6:p:1200-1227
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. A. M. Spence, 1981. "The Learning Curve and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 49-70, Spring.
    3. Martin B. Zimmerman, 1982. "Learning Effects and the Commercialization of New Energy Technologies: The Case of Nuclear Power," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 297-310, Autumn.
    4. Dick, Andrew R, 1991. "Learning by Doing and Dumping in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 133-159, April.
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