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The Computer Industry in East and West: Do Eastern European Countries Need a Specific Science and Technology Policy?

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  • Jürgen Bitzer

Abstract

National science and technology (S&T) systems are mentioned, in politics as well as in science, as a condition for the competitiveness of domestic high technology industries. An active S&T policy has, therefore, great importance for governments. Eastern European countries see, in an active S&T policy, the key for the creation of a new computer industry, which collapsed with socialism. With an industrial economic analysis of the market segments: PC, workstation, mini and mainframe computer and supercomputers this hypothesis is rejected for Eastern Europe. It is shown that the Eastern European computer manufacturers are present only in the PC segment. The analysis of production conditions, competition axes used and the computer market structure shows further that domestic computer manufacturers are well positioned in the PC business and have no need for a national S&T system. They have quickly built up global supplier networks which enable them to use foreign S&T systems. Therefore, with the current conditions on the computer markets in Eastern Europe, setting up national S&T systems for computer technology is not required.

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen Bitzer, 1997. "The Computer Industry in East and West: Do Eastern European Countries Need a Specific Science and Technology Policy?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 148, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp148
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.38550.de/dp148.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shane M. Greenstein, 1996. "From Superminis to Supercomputers: Estimating Surplus in the Computing Market," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 329-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert Wilson & Frederick Warrwn-Boulton, 1995. "Riding the Wave: Exclusionary Practices in Markets for Microprocessors Used in IBM-Compatible Personal Computers," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 241-262.
    3. Thore, Sten, 1996. "Economies of Scale in the US Computer Industry: An Empirical Investigation Using Data Envelopment Analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 199-216, May.
    4. Ernesto Somma, 1994. "Intra-industry trade in the European computers industry," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(4), pages 784-799, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian von Engelhardt, 2006. "Die ökonomischen Eigenschaften von Software," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft (Expired!) 14/2006, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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