Why do organizational populations die? : evidence from the Belgian motorcycle industry, 1900-1993
Extinctions represent a potential outcome of the evolutionary processes of organizational populations. Nevertheless, scant effort, if none, has been dedicated to investigate this issue. This paper proposes three alternative hypotheses that may account for extinction events. They are drawn from very different literatures: economic geography, economic sociology, and evolutionary biology/paleontology. In particular, two of them rely on exogenous determinants, while one is focused on an endogenous reasoning. The theory presented is tested analyzing the entries of motorcycle producers in Belgium, a population that ceased to exist in 1981. The findings of this research provide evidence to support the internal causation of the event. The implications stemming from the present work are related to the literatures of population ecology and industrial economics.
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