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Sources of Technological Progress, An Empirical Investigation

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  • Harabi, N.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to empirically investigate the sources of technological opportunitiesas one of the major determinants of technical progress at the industry level - using data from Switzerland. This question was looked at from the perspective of Swiss industry as a whole, as well as from the perspective of interindustrial differences. The analysis was based on a survey conducted among Swiss experts (mostly R&D executives of selected firms) in 1988. Of the 940 experts questioned, 358, or approximately 40%, responded. They represented 127 different lines of business. The most important results can be summarized as follows: 1. Market (profit-oriented) organizations make the most important contributions (of all kinds: financial, individual, informational, etc.) to technical progress. The most important source is firms within the same industry; second is product users; and third, suppliers of materials and equipment used in manufacturing. 2. The contributionof non-market organizations seems relatively unimportant. University research, other government research institutions, state companies and agencies, professional and technical associations and individual inventors make small contributions. 3. The contributions of market and non-market organizations vary from one industry to the other. 16 4. Science also contributes to technical progress, even if only selectively. Education and training in physics, computer science, materials science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and applied chemistry are all considered relevant to technical progress in Switzerland. 5. Generally, university research (domestic and foreign) is not considered as relevant to technical progress in the industries surveyed. In certain fields, such as computer science, materials science and electrical engineering, university research does, however, seem relevant to technical progress. These empirical results are important for a science and technology policy of both the state and indi
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Suggested Citation

  • Harabi, N., 1993. "Sources of Technological Progress, An Empirical Investigation," Papers 31, Universitat Zurich - Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Institut.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:zuriwi:31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107, Elsevier.
    2. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-293, June.
    3. Harabi, Najib, 1991. "Einflussfaktoren von Forschung und Entwicklung in der Schweizer Industrie: Ergebnisse einer schriftlichen Expertenbefragung [Factors Affecting Research and Development - Results of a Survey in Swis," MPRA Paper 5257, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    5. Giovanni Dosi & Christopher Freeman & Richard Nelson & Gerarld Silverberg & Luc Soete (ed.), 1988. "Technical Change and Economic Theory," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1988.
    6. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 783-832.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mihaela ȘTEȚ, 2013. "Financial Implications Of Technological Progress," SEA - Practical Application of Science, Romanian Foundation for Business Intelligence, Editorial Department, issue 1, pages 192-199, June.
    2. repec:cmj:journl:y:2013:i:27:stetm is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    INNOVATIONS; ENTERPRISES; TECHNOLOGY;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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