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Cumulative causation in the formation of a technological innovation system: The case of biofuels in the Netherlands

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  • Roald A.A. Suurs

    ()

  • Marko P. Hekkert

    ()

Abstract

Despite its worldwide success, the innovation systems approach is often criticized for being theoretically underdeveloped. This article aims to contribute to the conceptual and methodical basis of the (technological) innovation systems approach. We propose an alteration that improves the analysis of dynamics, especially with respect to emerging innovation systems. We do this by expanding on the technological innovation systems and system functions literature, and by employing the method of 'event history analysis'. By mapping events, the interactions between system functions and their development over time can be analysed. Based on this it becomes possible to identify forms of positive feedback, i.e. cumulative causation. As an illustration of the approach, we assess the biofuels innovation system in The Netherlands as it evolved from 1990 to 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Roald A.A. Suurs & Marko P. Hekkert, 2008. "Cumulative causation in the formation of a technological innovation system: The case of biofuels in the Netherlands," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 08-04, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Feb 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:uis:wpaper:0804
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    File URL: http://www.geo.uu.nl/isu/pdf/isu0804.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carlsson, Bo & Jacobsson, Staffan & Holmen, Magnus & Rickne, Annika, 2002. "Innovation systems: analytical and methodological issues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 233-245, February.
    2. R. Purdy, 2002. "Editorial," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-2, March.
    3. Susana BorrĂ¡s, 2004. "System of innovation theory and the European Union," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(6), pages 425-433, December.
    4. R. K. Pachauri & Sujata Gupta, 2002. "Editorial," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2-3), pages 127-128, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Foxon, Timothy J. & Pearson, Peter J.G. & Arapostathis, Stathis & Carlsson-Hyslop, Anna & Thornton, Judith, 2013. "Branching points for transition pathways: assessing responses of actors to challenges on pathways to a low carbon future," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 146-158.
    2. Suurs, Roald A.A. & Hekkert, Marko P., 2009. "Competition between first and second generation technologies: Lessons from the formation of a biofuels innovation system in the Netherlands," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 669-679.
    3. van Alphen, Klaas & van Ruijven, Jochem & Kasa, Sjur & Hekkert, Marko & Turkenburg, Wim, 2009. "The performance of the Norwegian carbon dioxide, capture and storage innovation system," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 43-55, January.

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