Evolution and structure of technological systems - An innovation output network

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The mechanisms responsible for the structure and evolution of technological systems are not fully understood. This study examines the network of supply and use of significant innovations across industries in Sweden, 1970-2013. The results suggest that at least 30% of innovation patterns can be statistically predicted by network stimulus from both backward and forward linkages in the Swedish economy. The network is hierarchical, characterized by hubs that connect diverse industries in closely knitted communities. To account for the structure and evolution of innovation networks, the study proposes a preferential weight assignment process, allowing historical technological linkages and proximities to influence future outcomes. The empirical results show that the properties of the Swedish innovation network are strongly predicted by this process, while skill, knowledge and economic interdependencies have significant but more complex effects on link formation. The results are consistent with the idea that innovations emerge in synergistic communities, but suggest that the transformation of technological systems is shaped by technological requirements, imbalances, and opportunities that are not straightforwardly related to other economic or knowledge proximities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104010
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History


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