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General Purpose Technologies as an emergent property

Vladimir Korzinov and Ivan Savin

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2018, vol. 129, issue C, 88-104

Abstract: We address the emergence of General Purpose Technologies (GPTs), the process which has been largely neglected in the literature on technological change. We do this from a novel network-based perspective emphasizing the relations between technologies and how combinations of those technologies form final goods. Transforming GPT emergence into a question of technology adoption we demonstrate that GPTs are more likely to emerge when certain conditions with regard to the following techno-economic factors are met: knowledge diffusion, concentration of R&D efforts and variation in the rank of expected returns on products. Focusing solely on a discovery process our model demonstrates an impressive fit to real data reproducing a number of stylised facts including technological lock-ins, S-shaped curves of technology adoption, temporal clustering of innovations and distinct features of empirical networks of relatedness among technologies and products.

Keywords: General purpose technology; Technology networks; Pervasiveness of technologies; Knowledge diffusion; Innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C63 D83 D85 L16 O3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2017.12.011

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