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A percolation model of the product lifecycle

  • Frenken, Koen

    ()

    (Urban & Regional research centre Utrecht (URU), Utrecht University)

  • Silverberg, Gerald

    ()

    (UNU-MERIT, and IIASA)

  • Valente, Marco

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of L'Aquila)

The product lifecycle model can be understood as a three-stage model of technological development associated with a particular product technology. In the explorative stage many different designs are developed, in the development stage products become standardized into a dominant design, and in the mature stage only incremental changes occur within the dominant design. Although the product lifecycle model is widely accepted and often applied in empirical research, innovation scholars have failed to develop systematic theoretical models that explain the different stages of technological development along the lifecycle. In this study, an attempt is made to contribute to product lifecycle theory by developing a theoretical model based on percolation dynamics. The model combines the concept of increasing returns to adoption with information diffusion among consumers within social networks. The main contribution of the model is that it replicates the three stages of the product lifecycle as an outcome of a single elementary process. The model also replicates the S-shaped diffusion curve and the occurrence of an industry shakeout.

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File URL: http://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2008/wp2008-073.pdf
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Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 073.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2008073
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  1. Jovanovic, B. & MacDonald, G., 1993. "The Life Cycle of a Competitive Industry," Working Papers 93-34, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1993. "In search of useful theory of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 108-108, April.
  3. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
  4. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
  5. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1996. "Schumpeterian patterns of innovation are technology-specific," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 451-478, May.
  6. Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
  7. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-53, September.
  8. Simona Cantono & Gerald Silverberg, 2008. "A percolation model of eco-innovation diffusion: the relationship between diffusion, learning economies and subsidies," MERIT Working Papers 025, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  9. Klepper, Steven, 1997. "Industry Life Cycles," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 145-81.
  10. Marco Valente, 1998. "Laboratory for Simulation Development," DRUID Working Papers 98-5, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  11. Breschi, Stefano & Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Technological Regimes and Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 388-410, April.
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