IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wes/weswpa/2017-001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Infrastructure and General Purpose Technologies: A Technology Flow Framework

Author

Listed:
  • Christiaan Hogendorn

    () (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)

  • Brett Frischmann

    (Cardozo Law School)

Abstract

Economic growth models often refer to “general purpose technology” (GPT) and “infrastructure” as key to improving productivity. Some GPTs, like railroads and the Internet, fit common notions of infrastructure, while other likes the steam engine and the computer do not. Without a specific model of the special characteristics of infrastructures, important technology policy questions relating to openness are not addressed. Infrastructure is similar to other GPTs in its demand-side characteristics that enable a wide variety of productive activities (or uses) and generate substantial spillovers to the rest of the economy. On the supply side, infrastructure is quite different from the other GPTs. It is partially nonrival as opposed to fully nonrival, which may complicate appropriation problems and raise congestion issues. It has strong cost-side economies of scale giving less scope for using markets to provide and control it. And it exhibits tethering, meaning that different users must be physically or virtually connected for the infrastructure to function. We present a technology flow framework that clarifies these issues and provides a base for policy analysis and for defining empirical research questions.

Suggested Citation

  • Christiaan Hogendorn & Brett Frischmann, 2017. "Infrastructure and General Purpose Technologies: A Technology Flow Framework," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2017-001, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2017-001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/chogendorn/2017001_hogendorn.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    2. Bauer, Johannes M., 2014. "Platforms, systems competition, and innovation: Reassessing the foundations of communications policy," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 662-673.
    3. Aghion, Philippe & David, Paul A. & Foray, Dominique, 2009. "Science, technology and innovation for economic growth: Linking policy research and practice in 'STIG Systems'," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 681-693, May.
    4. Liao, Hailin & Wang, Bin & Li, Baibing & Weyman-Jones, Tom, 2016. "ICT as a general-purpose technology: The productivity of ICT in the United States revisited," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 10-25.
    5. Schuett, Florian, 2012. "Field-of-use restrictions in licensing agreements," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 403-416.
    6. S. K. Majumdar & O. Carare & H. Chang, 2010. "Broadband adoption and firm productivity: evaluating the benefits of general purpose technology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 641-674, June.
    7. Lipsey, Richard G. & Carlaw, Kenneth I. & Bekar, Clifford T., 2005. "Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290895.
    8. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1003-1026, October.
    9. Hogendorn Christiaan, 2005. "Regulating Vertical Integration in Broadband: Open Access versus Common Carriage," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-14, March.
    10. Maryann P. Feldman & Ji Woong Yoon, 2012. "An empirical test for general purpose technology: an examination of the Cohen--Boyer rDNA technology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 249-275, April.
    11. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-361, May.
    12. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
    13. Brett M. Frischmann & Christiaan Hogendorn, 2015. "Retrospectives: The Marginal Cost Controversy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    14. Venturini, Francesco, 2015. "The modern drivers of productivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 357-369.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    infrastructure; general purpose technologies; institutions; economic growth; spillovers; open systems;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2017-001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Manolis Kaparakis). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edwesus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.