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Striving for a Large Market: Evidence from a General Purpose Technology in Action


  • Grid Thoma

    (University of Camerino, Italy and Cespri, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.)


Several scholars have tried to focus on growth accounting of specific examples of General Purpose Technologies (GPTs). But, what are the factors that might make a General Purpose Technology succeed or fail once the invention has been "triggered"? This paper is a preliminary answer to this question and attempts to study GPTs from an ex-ante perspective trying to understand what is the behaviour and performance of the producer firms and what the factors are that can favour or hamper their diffusion in the application sectors. The paper follows a historical perspective on a control technology, introduced in the last few decades by a Silicon Valley start-up company.

Suggested Citation

  • Grid Thoma, 2006. "Striving for a Large Market: Evidence from a General Purpose Technology in Action," KITeS Working Papers 195, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Dec 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp195

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sourafel Girma, & Holger Görg, 2003. "Foreign direct investmant, spillovers and absorptive capacity: Evidence from quantile regressions," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp01, IIIS.
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    4. Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger, 2006. "International Outsourcing and the Productivity of Low-Skilled Labor in the EU," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 98-108, January.
    5. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus export decision of Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 448-467, December.
    6. Robert E. Lipsey, 1999. "Foreign Production by U.S. Firms and Parent Firm Employment," NBER Working Papers 7357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Henrik Braconier & Karolina Ekholm & Karen Knarvik, 2001. "In search of FDI-transmitted R&D spillovers: A study based on Swedish data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(4), pages 644-665, December.
    8. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe De La Potterie & Frank Lichtenberg, 2001. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Transfer Technology Across Borders?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 490-497, August.
    9. Mata, Jose & Machado, Jose A. F., 1996. "Firm start-up size: A conditional quantile approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1305-1323, June.
    10. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Davide Castellani, 2003. "Investments Abroad and Performance at Home Evidence from Italian Multinationals," Development Working Papers 180, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
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    Cited by:

    1. Slowak, André P., 2009. "Market fields structure & dynamics in industrial automation," FZID Discussion Papers 02-2009, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
    2. Lehrer, Mark & Banerjee, Preeta M. & Wang, I. Kim, 2017. "When the sky is the limit on scale: From temporal to multiplicative scaling in process-based technologies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 151-159.
    3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2009. "Financial Patenting in Europe," NBER Working Papers 14714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:eee:tefoso:v:125:y:2017:i:c:p:154-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sophie Hooge & Olga Kokshagina & Pascal Le Masson & Kevin Levillain & Benoit Weil & Vincent Fabreguettes & Nathalie Popiolek, 2014. "Designing generic technologies in Energy Research: learning from two CEA technologies for double unknown management," Post-Print hal-00987214, HAL.
    6. repec:eee:tefoso:v:120:y:2017:i:c:p:271-283 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Daniela Baglieri & Gianni Lorenzoni, 2014. "Closing the distance between academia and market: experimentation and user entrepreneurial processes," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 52-74, February.
    8. Vincent Mangematin & Khalid Errabi & Caroline Gauthier, 2011. "Large players in the nanogame: dedicated nanotech subsidiaries or distributed nanotech capabilities?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(6), pages 640-664, December.
    9. Gambardella, Alfonso & Giarratana, Marco S., 2013. "General technological capabilities, product market fragmentation, and markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 315-325.
    10. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 2010. "The Market for Technology," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    11. Bresnahan, Timothy, 2010. "General Purpose Technologies," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.

    More about this item


    Industrial Organization; Technological Change.;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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