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Sprayed to Death: Path Dependence, Lock-In and Pest Control Strategies

Robin Cowan and Philip Gunby

Economic Journal, 1996, vol. 106, issue 436, 521-42

Abstract: Theoretical literature on the economics of technology has emphasized the effects on technological trajectories of positive feedbacks. In a competition among technologies that all perform a similar function, the presence of increasing returns to adoptions can force all but one technology from the market. Furthermore, the victor need not be the superior technology. This paper provides an empirical study of one technological competition which illuminates this theoretical work. It uses theoretical results to explain why chemical control of agricultural pests remains the dominant technology in spite of many claims that it is inferior to its main competitor, integrated pest management. Copyright 1996 by Royal Economic Society.

Date: 1996
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (134)

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