Catching up, leapfrogging, or forging ahead? Exploring the effects of integration and history on spatial technological adoptions

Giovannetti, Emanuele (2013) Catching up, leapfrogging, or forging ahead? Exploring the effects of integration and history on spatial technological adoptions. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 45 (4). pp. 930-946. ISSN 1472-3409

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This paper introduces a model of localised competition and technological adoption that produces interesting geographical adoption patterns: persistent asymmetry, where nobody adopts; leapfrogging where only followers adopt; forging ahead, where only leaders adopt; and catching up, where everybody adopts a new technology. I study the conditions leading to the emergence of these adoption patters to interpret the rich and growing empirical literature on intradistribution mobility across and within regions. I consider a set of linked markets characterised by asymmetric initial technological conditions. I show that these different spatial adoption patterns may provide an interesting reference for the debate on regional convergence, as adoption is an essential engine of growth. I also assess both the impact of integration policy and of historical asymmetries on these spatial adoption choices and find some counterintuitive results: for example, that integration policies may increase regional asymmetries instead of reducing them, depending on the relevance of the initial technology gap between neighbouring firms. The model does not assume different learning abilities or adoption costs between leaders and followers. Indeed, they can all adopt, for the same cost, a new technology leading to global catching up and convergence. Notwithstanding this possibility, the emerging spatial adoption patterns may still be asymmetric. The main parameters driving the results of the model are the relevance of the innovation; adoption costs; consumers’ preferences for quality; the initial, historically inherited, technology quality asymmetries; and transport costs, expressing the degree of within-market competitiveness and differentiation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: leapfrogging, economic integration, local interaction, technological adoption, regional asymmetries
Faculty: ARCHIVED Lord Ashcroft International Business School (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2013 11:09
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 14:49

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