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Increasing returns and network structure in the evolutionary dynamics of industries

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  • Andrea Bonaccorsi
  • Paola Giuri

Abstract

The paper explores the idea that properties at the level of firms coevolve with more aggregate properties at the level of market institutions in the dynamics of industries. We propose that the structure of network of vertical relations limits the effect of increasing returns at the firm level. The paper develops a set of empirical measures and discusses a detailed case study of the commercial jet engine industry. The analysis of the structural dynamics of the network of vertical relations between engine suppliers and airframe manufacturers during the history of the industry (1958-1997) explains a final configuration of the industry marked by the coexistence of increasing returns to investments in R&D and marketing activities, with an intense competition among a few large incumbents, a low level of concentration and a strong instability of market shares. The emergence of a hierarchical network with a core and a periphery leads to equalisation of technical and market opportunities within the core and prevents incumbents to exit the industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Bonaccorsi & Paola Giuri, 1999. "Increasing returns and network structure in the evolutionary dynamics of industries," LEM Papers Series 1999/12, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:1999/12
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    File URL: http://www.lem.sssup.it/WPLem/files/1999-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    5. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    6. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1995. "Path Dependence, Lock-in, and History," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-226, April.
    7. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 1992. "Coordination in Split Award Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 681-707.
    8. Mazzucato, Mariana, 1998. "A computational model of economies of scale and market share instability," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 55-83, March.
    9. Paul A. David, 1997. "Path Dependence and the Quest for Historical Economics: One More chorus of Ballad of QWERTY," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _020, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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    11. Windrum, Paul & Birchenhall, Chris, 1998. "Is product life cycle theory a special case? Dominant designs and the emergence of market niches through coevolutionary-learning," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 109-134, March.
    12. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-653, September.
    13. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Paola Giuri, 2000. "Industry Life Cycle and the Evolution of an Industry Network," LEM Papers Series 2000/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Giuri, Paola, 2001. "The long-term evolution of vertically-related industries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 1053-1083, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    increasing returns; concentration; market shares; aircraft-engine industry; vertical relations; network.;

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