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What drives innovation? Causes of and consequences for nanotechnologies

Author

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  • Ott, Ingrid
  • Papilloud, Christian
  • Zülsdorf, Torben

Abstract

Nanotechnologies are expected to be the dominant general purpose technology of the next decades. Their market potential is immense and especially demand side arguments will have far reaching consequences for innovations. They may occur as increased miniaturization or via building completely new products, processes or services. Innovations in the field of nanotechnologies do not only affect productivity in downstream sectors but these feed back to nanotechnologies thereby inducing circles of continuing innovation. Demand for nanocomponents mainly arises by firms while private demand is assigned to final products, processes or services that are augmented by nanotechnologies. Due to the technology's controversial character, the consumer's attitude towards risk and technology affects private demand and this may either spur or hamper innovation. The paper aims to unravel how these complex interdependencies and feedback mechanisms affect overall innovation that is induced by nanotechnologies and how this on its part affects further improvements of nanotechnologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ott, Ingrid & Papilloud, Christian & Zülsdorf, Torben, 2008. "What drives innovation? Causes of and consequences for nanotechnologies," HWWI Research Papers 1-17, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:1-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Robinson, Douglas K.R. & Rip, Arie & Mangematin, Vincent, 2007. "Technological agglomeration and the emergence of clusters and networks in nanotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 871-879, July.
    3. Morrison, Pamela D. & Roberts, John H. & Midgley, David F., 2004. "The nature of lead users and measurement of leading edge status," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 351-362, March.
    4. Fagerberg, Jan, 1996. "Technology and Competitiveness," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 39-51, Autumn.
    5. Beise, Marian & Cleff, Thomas, 2004. "Assessing the lead market potential of countries for innovation projects," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 453-477.
    6. Lone Engbo Christiansen, 2008. "Do Technology Shocks Lead to Productivity Slowdowns? Evidence from Patent Data," IMF Working Papers 08/24, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Axel Werwatz & Heike Belitz & Tanja Kirn & Jens Schmidt-Ehmcke, 2006. "Innovationsindikator Deutschland 2006," DIW Berlin: Politikberatung kompakt, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, volume 22, number pbk22.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    general purpose technologies; controversial technologies; determinants of innovation;

    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
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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