Journal of Economic Surveys

Published by Wiley

Online ISSN: 1467-6419


Print ISSN: 0950-0804


The Emergence Of Migration Theory And A Suggested New Direction
  • Article

February 1989


90 Reads

Gail M. Shields


"The literature on internal labour migration is surveyed using a four-fold taxonomic scheme. The potential migrant, as presented in the existing literature, can be viewed as a supplier of labour, an investor in human capital and a consumer of regional amenities such as public goods. The paper develops a fourth approach which treats the household, rather than the individual, as the migrating unit and which views the potential migrant as a producer of home produced commodities. The continuities as well as the contrasts between the four approaches are discussed in the paper."

Rural-Urban Migration In Economic Development

October 1993


119 Reads

"This paper provides a review of the theoretical literature on rural-urban migration in contemporary LDCs [less developed countries]. The paper begins with a brief discussion of the Lewis model before going on to discuss the Todaro and the Harris-Todaro models and the large literature which these models have spawned. The question of job search in the context of migration and the role of family members in migration decisions are considered next. The paper then takes a closer look at the Informal sector and also sets out alternative migration functions to the ones usually employed in the literature."

Social Change and Economic Life in Britain in the 1980s.

February 1996


15 Reads

Books reviewed in this article: Duncan Gallie, Catherine Marsh, and Carolyn Vogler (eds.) (1994) Social Change and the Experience of Unemployment. Jill Rubery and Frank Wilkinson (eds.) (1994) Employer Strategy and the Labour Market. Alison McEwan Scott (ed.) (1994) Gender Segregation and Social Change: Men and Women in Changing Labour Markets. Roger Penn, Michael Rose, and Jill Rubery (eds.) (1994) Skill and Occupational Change. Michael Anderson, Frank Bechhofer, and Jonathan Gershuny (eds.) (1994) The Social and Political Economy of the Household. Duncan Gallie, Roger Penn, and Michael Rose (eds.) (1996) Trade Unionism in Recession.

Ox 2.10: Beast of Burden or Object of Desire?

September 1999


8 Reads

We examine Italian inflation rates and the Phillips curve with a very long-run perspective, one that covers the entire existence of the Italian lira from political unification (1861) to Italy's entry in the European Monetary Union (end of 1998). We first study the volatility, persistence and stationarity of the Italian inflation rate over the long run and across various exchange-rate regimes that have shaped Italian monetary history. Next, we estimate alternative Phillips equations and investigate whether nonlinearities, asymmetries and structural changes characterize the inflation-output trade-off in the long run. We capture the effects of structural changes and asymmetries on the estimated parameters of the inflation-output trade-off, relying partly on sub-sample estimates and partly on time-varying parameters estimated via the Kalman filter. Finally, we investigate causal relationships between inflation rates and output and extend the analysis to include the US and the UK for comparison purposes. The inference is that Italy has experienced a conventional inflation-output trade-off only during times of low inflation and stable aggregate supply.

G®CH 2.2: An Ox package for estimating and forecasting various ARCH models

February 2002


843 Reads

This paper discusses and documents G@RCH 2.2, an Ox package dedicated to the estimation and forecast of various univariate ARCH–type models including GARCH, EGARCH, GJR, APARCH, IGARCH, FIGARCH, HYGARCH, FIEGARCH and FIAPARCH specifications of the conditional variance and an AR(FI)MA specification of the conditional mean. These models can be estimated by Approximate (Quasi) Maximum Likelihood under four assumptions: normal, Student–t, GED or skewed Student errors. Explanatory variables can enter both the conditional mean and the conditional variance equations. h–step–ahead forecasts of both the conditional mean and the conditional variance are available as well as many mispecification tests. We first propose an overview of the package’s features, with the presentation of the different specifications of the conditional mean and conditional variance. Then further explanations are given about the estimation methods. Measures of the accuracy of the procedures are also given and the GARCH features provided by G@RCH are compared with those of nine other econometric softwares. Finally, a concrete application of G@RCH 2.2 is provided.


February 1997


6 Reads

The Determinants and Consequences of Abandoned Takeovers

April 2001


185 Reads

Takeover activity has attracted a great deal of academic attention over the past three decades. Much of this interest has focused on the study of completed takeovers with a particular interest in seeking to understand the impact of takeover activity on the wealth of both shareholders in acquired and bidding firms. Unlike their completed counterparts, abandoned takeovers have received relatively little academic attention. This is surprising since a significant proportion of takeover bids are unsuccessful. This paper seeks to address the imbalance by providing a comprehensive survey of the takeover failure literature. The paper focuses on two aspects of the literature: First, we discuss and review the factors likely to influence takeover outcome. Second, we examine the consequences of takeover abandonment from the perspective of targets and bidders. We also identify a number of areas where future research may seek to improve further our understanding of the causes and consequences of takeover abandonment. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

The Economics of Absence: Theory and Evidence

February 1996


113 Reads

Worker absenteeism constitutes a significant loss of work time and therefore has important implications for both household income and firm productivity. Despite this, the economics profession has been somewhat laggard relative to other disciplines in addressing the phenomenon. The situation is, however, changing, with recent years witnessing a mild flurry of activity. The aim of this paper is to maintain, and if possible, enhance this momentum. We do this firstly by developing some basic theoretical ideas which we consider to be central to an economic analysis of absence. In particular, we address the often cited claim that observed absence is unequivocally inefficient. Second, by reviewing some of the key contributions, we attempt to assess where the literature on the economics of absence stands at present, as well as suggesting some potentially fruitful lines of future enquiry. Copyright 1996 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

Table 1 . Estimates of the Capital-Energy Allen partial Elasticity of Substitution
Scarce or Abundant? The Economics of Natural Resource Availability
  • Article
  • Full-text available

February 2000


2,279 Reads

Most natural resources that are used in production are non-renewable. When they become depleted they are lost for future use. Does it follow that the limited availability of natural resources will at some time in the future constrain economic growth as many environmentalists believe? While classical economists have shared the belief in limits to growth, the distinctive feature of modern neoclassical economics is its optimism about the availability of natural resources. This survey suggests that resource optimism can be summarised in four propositions. First, a rise in the price of a resource leads to a substitution of this resource with another more abundant resource and to a substitution of products that are intensive in this resource. Second, a rise in the price of a resource leads to increased recycling of the resource and to the exploration and extraction of lower quality ores. Third, man-made capital can substitute for natural resources. Fourth, technical progress increases the efficiency of resource use and makes extraction of lower quality ores economical. In a critical analysis of these four propositions it is shown that while the conjecture that natural resources will never constrain future economic growth is logically conceivable, we do not and indeed cannot know whether it will be possible in practice to overcome any resource constraint.

The Ten Commandments for Academics

February 2005


133 Reads

The types of contracts arising in a typical vertical manufacturer–retailer relationship are more sophisticated than a simple uniform price. In addition to setting per unit prices, manufacturers and retailers also revert to non-linear pricing and non-price instruments. These instruments or contracts are referred to as vertical restraints and can take the form of franchise fees, resale-price maintenance, exclusive dealing, exclusive territories and slotting allowances. The use and the effects of one type of instrument versus another depend crucially on specific market assumptions upstream and downstream and on the division of bargaining power between manufacturers and retailers. This paper surveys the industrial organization literature on retail pricing and shows that vertical restraint instruments have important effects on producer and consumer prices, market structure, efficiency and welfare.

Flexible Accelerator Economic Systems as Coupled Oscillators

July 2011


115 Reads

In this paper, the capacity of a particular type of a formal theoretical model to generate‐compute non‐trivial economic dynamics is studied. The model chosen is the flexible accelerator and the classification of the attractors is made in terms of Wolfram four classes. The model at the origins of mathematical business cycle theories (Frisch, 1933) generates class 1 limit points. The model by Goodwin (1951) generates class 2 limit cycles. We construct a class 3 basin of attraction, strange attractors, by coupling through trade variants of the oscillators present in Goodwin (1951). It is shown that coupled oscillators may generate non‐stochastic irregular dynamic behaviours of the Goodwin (1946) type. The irregularity is shown through the computation of very rugged devil staircases. Whether the system of coupled nonlinear oscillators presented here belong to the class 4 type is still an open question. The analogy with the system of coupled oscillators and the well‐known Fermi–Pasta–Ulam experiment is also explored.

Bank Capital Requirements, Business Cycle Fluctuations and the Basel Accords: A Synthesis

July 2008


130 Reads

In order to survey the mechanisms through which the introduction of Basel II bank capital requirements is likely to accentuate the procyclical tendencies of banking, this paper brings together the theoretical literature on the bank capital channel of propagation of exogenous shocks and the literature on the regulatory framework of capital requirements under the Basel Accords. We conclude that, although the theoretical models that revisit the bank capital channel under the new Accord generally support the Basel II procyclicality hypothesis, this issue is still subject to some debate. In particular, the magnitude of the procyclical effects under Basel II should essentially depend on (i) the composition of banks' asset portfolios, (ii) the approach adopted by banks to compute their minimum capital requirements, (iii) the nature of the rating system used by banks, (iv) the view adopted concerning how credit risk evolves through time, (v) the capital buffers over the regulatory minimum held by the banking institutions, (vi) the improvements in credit risk management, and (vii) the supervisor and market intervention under Basel II.

Intertemporal Optimizing Models of Trade and Current Account Balance: A Survey

February 2007


118 Reads

This study surveys the intertemporal optimizing models of trade and current account balance that were developed, calibrated and empirically tested since they came into vogue in the 1980s. The implications of these models often differ from those of static and dynamic conventional non-optimizing models. The literature on optimizing models has not only grown reasonably fast, but has also witnessed significant advances in methodology, and these models have culminated into a distinct strand of new open-economy macroeconomics. The studies conducted until the late 1980s have used deterministic perfect-foresight models, while several studies conducted since the 1990s relax the perfect-foresight and certainty equivalence assumptions and develop stochastic dynamic general equilibrium models to account for uncertainty confronting the optimizing agents. The future research needs to explore the possibility of tracing any preferred specification of household preferences, model the effect of time-varying discount factor on household utility function and intertemporal budget constraint, examine the role of costs in international trade, place a parallel emphasis on the empirical verifications of theoretical propositions, examine the relative performance of optimizing vis-à-vis non-optimizing models and rationalize the extreme propositions of perfect and imperfect capital mobility in the wake of moderately open capital accounts. Copyright 2007 The Author Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Dependent and Accountable: Evidence from the Modern Theory of Central Banking

February 2000


54 Reads

In this paper we take another look at the literature on central bank independence. We show that the representative-agent approach to monetary policy is seriously flawed and does not provide a sound basis for deriving institutional solutions to the inflationary-bias. We then argue that the political approach to monetary policy provides a better account of the inflationary-bias and that this has important implications for the set-up of institutional arrangements, like central-bank independence, and the role of contractual arrangements, like indexation. Central bank independence, if appropriately modeled, can fail to reduce inflationary pressures in plausible circumstances. We then identify some issues in the theory of central banking that have not been clearly resolved and we offer some intuition as to the way they could be studied. We conclude by showing some potentially worrisome implications for the future of the European Monetary Union. Copyright 2000 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

Detailed estimation of worklife expectancy for the measurement of human capital: Accounting for marriage and children

April 2010


231 Reads

Measuring an individual's human capital at a point in time as the present actuarial value of expected net lifetime earnings has a lengthy history. Calculating such measures requires accurate estimates of worklife expectancy. Here, worklife estimates for men and women in the USA categorized by educational attainment, race, marital status, parental status and current labour force status are presented. Race has a much larger impact on the worklife expectancy of men than women. Education is associated with larger worklife differentials for women. The association between marriage and worklife expectancy is significant, but of opposite sign, for men and women: married women (men) have a lower (higher) worklife expectancy than single women (men). Parenthood is associated with a reduction in the worklife expectancy of women; the association is smaller and varies from positive for some education/marital status groups to negative for others for men. Copyright © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Collective Action Cascades: An Informational Rationale for the Power in Numbers

December 2000


149 Reads

Self-interested individuals pursue their goals rationally taking into account the constraints imposed by their environment and best-responding to the strategic behavior of other individuals: when applied to collective action, economic theory predicts undersupply. Meanwhile, the behavior of masses of people is described as excitable, emotional, irrational, suggestible, hypnotic, disorderly, and unpredictable: in practice, it seems, collective action is oversupplied, and erratically so. The contagious and volatile dynamics of collective action appear to defy rationalization. I conceptualize a social movement as a dynamic informational cascade. Turbulencies emerge endogenously from rational individual behavior. Disorderly mass behavior is a by-product of a powerful decentralized mechanism of information aggregation.

Habit Formation and the Theory of Addiction

February 1998


112 Reads

In the light of repeated rejections of the Hall (1978) version of the life cycle-permanent income hypothesis and other empirical puzzles, the habit formation hypothesis has increased in popularity since the 1980s. However, existing formulations of habit persistence do not always perform well empirically. This paper pursues two objectives: (i) to outline the habit persistence hypothesis, and (ii) to review the theory of addiction with a focus on issues of relevance to the theory of consumption. In the literature on addiction, two research traditions are discernible: rational addiction and myopic addiction. The former approach emphasises forward-looking behaviour and defines memory loss as a univariate process. The latter relies on multiple objectives and highlights the role of contractual behaviour. The paper argues that future research in consumption with habits ought to pay more attention to non-separabilities, allow for multivariate processes when modelling memory loss and consider rational habit modification.

Habit Formation and the Theory of Addiction.

February 1999


35 Reads

In the light of repeated rejections of the Hall (1978) version of the life cycle-permanent income hypothesis and other empirical puzzles, the habit formation hypothesis has increased in popularity since the 1980s. However, existing formulations of habit persistence do not always perform well empirically. This paper pursues two objectives: (i) to outline the habit persistence hypothesis, and (ii) to review the theory of addiction with a focus on issues of relevance to the theory of consumption. In the literature on addiction, two research traditions are discernible: rational addiction and myopic addiction. The former approach emphasises forward-looking behaviour and defines memory loss as a univariate process. The latter relies on multiple objectives and highlights the role of contractual behaviour. The paper argues that future research in consumption with habits ought to pay more attention to non-separabilities, allow for multivariate processes when modelling memory loss and consider rational habit modification. Copyright 1999 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

Models of Quality-Adjusted Life Years when Health Varies Over Time: Survey and Analysis

February 2006


49 Reads

Quality-adjusted life year "QALY" models are widely used for economic evaluation in the health care sector. In the first part of the paper, we establish an overview of QALY models where health varies over time and provide a theoretical analysis of model identification and parameter estimation from time trade-off "TTO" and standard gamble "SG" scores. We investigate deterministic and probabilistic models and consider five different families of discounting functions in all. The second part of the paper discusses four issues recurrently debated in the literature. This discussion includes questioning the SG method as the gold standard for estimation of the health state index, re-examining the role of the constant-proportional trade-off condition, revisiting the problem of double discounting of QALYs, and suggesting that it is not a matter of choosing between TTO and SG procedures as the combination of these two can be used to disentangle risk aversion from discounting. We find that caution must be taken when drawing conclusions from models with chronic health states to situations where health varies over time. One notable difference is that in the former case, risk aversion may be indistinguishable from discounting. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2006.

Macroeconomic Adjustment and the Poor: Analytical Issues and Cross-Country Evidence

March 2002


94 Reads

The author studies the links between macroeconomic adjustment and poverty. First, he summarizes some of the recent evidence on poverty in the developing world. Second, he reviews the various channels through which macroeconomic policies affect the poor. Third, the author emphasizes the role of the labor market. He develops an analytical framework that captures some of the main features of the urban labor market in developing countries and studies the effects of fiscal adjustment on wages, employment, and poverty. Fourth, he presents cross-country regressions linking various macroeconomic and structural variables to poverty. The author finds that output growth and real exchange rate depreciations tend to lower poverty, while illiteracy, income inequality, and macroeconomic volatility tend to increase poverty. In addition, the impact of growth on poverty appears to be asymmetric, and to result from a significant relationship between episodes of increasing poverty and negative growth rates.

Picture this: A Simple Graph that Reveals Much Ado about Research

February 2010


86 Reads

Funnel graphs provide a simple, yet highly effective, means to identify key features of an empirical literature. This paper illustrates the use of funnel graphs to detect publication selection bias, identify the existence of genuine empirical effects and discover potential moderator variables that can help to explain the wide variation routinely found among reported research findings. Applications include union-productivity effects, water price elasticities, common currency-trade effects, minimum-wage employment effects, efficiency wages and the price elasticity of prescription drugs. Copyright Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Recent Advances in Oligopoly Theory from a Game Theory Perspective.

February 1987


13 Reads

. This paper surveys the contribution that recent developments in game theory have made to the understanding of oligopoly theory. It is argued that conventional models suffer from the problem that there are a number of solution concepts offered with little guidance as to which should be selected, and this is related to the static nature of the models employed. One important development in game theory has been the analysis of repeated games, and when applied to oligopoly theory this suggests that outcomes may be more cooperative than conventional theory suggests. Related to this is the requirement that firms employ credible threats to punish cheating from cooperative outcomes, and the paper examines the extent to which imperfect information may restrict the scope of firms to employ such punishments. One way in which firms may seek to make threats credible is through strategic investments, for example in production capacity, and the paper explores how competition over price or output is integrated with competition over instruments for strategic investment.

Recent Advances in Modelling Seasonality

September 1996


12 Reads

In this paper we review recent developments in econometric modelling of economic time series with seasonality. The prime focus is on econometric models which incorporate explicit descriptions of seasonal variation, instead of removing this variation using a seasonal adjustment method. This review centres around developments in seasonal unit root models and in periodic parameter models, both in the univariate and multivariate context. Several empirical examples are used for illustration. We also discuss several areas for further research. Copyright 1996 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

Corporate capital structure and how soft budget constraints may affect it

September 2008


177 Reads

This survey paper examines existing theories of capital structure and related empirical tests with the aim to derive theoretical as well empirically testable predictions about the implications of the soft budget constraint for corporate capital structure. We show that the soft budget constraint syndrome is relevant for a variety of institutional environments, from central planning to capitalist economic systems, and consider features of company financing patterns in various institutional contexts. Special attention is paid to emerging and transition economies where, with the development of financial markets, companies reduce their financial dependence on the state and begin to borrow from a variety of sources. However, due to the persistence of soft budget constraints, corporate capital structure in transition and emerging economies may still deviate significantly from the capital structure of companies operating under hard budget constraints. Copyright © 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

The Research Agenda for Small Business Economics.

February 1990


14 Reads

Books reviewed in this article: Acs, Z. and Audretsch, D. B. (eds.) (1990) The Economics of Small Firms: A European Challenge

International Leadership in Productivity at the Aggregate and Industry Level

February 1998


5 Reads

Since many policies affect specific parts of economies differently, it is useful to decompose GDP per capita differences across countries into differences across smaller and smaller parts of economies. In this paper, we summarize recent contributions in this area and fit them together into a decomposition procedure for GDP per capita differences. The overall finding is that the U.S. is the productivity leader for the most of the economy. Moreover, international productivity differences at the aggregate level of the economies are in most cases translated into differences in the productivity of industries, at least compared to the productivity leader U.S. The variability of productivity differences at the industry level is, however, substantially higher than any differences at the aggregate or sector level. For the manufacturing sector alone the U.S. and Japan share the leadership on the industry level. In contrast, France, U.K., and Germany exhibit almost no leadership in productivity at the industry level. Hence, nation-specific factors appear to be dominant in the comparison of European countries with the U.S. Finally, mix differences do not play a very large role for big countries. For Germany, however, the mix effect can help to reconcile relative high productivity for the market economy and lower productivity at disaggregated levels.

The Economics of Voluntary Export Restraint Agreements

February 1989


85 Reads

The three substantive sections of this survey deal with the economic consequences of voluntary export restraint agreements (VERs), e.g. the Multi-Fibre Arrangement and VERs on Japanese auto exports. Section 2 focuses on the disposition of quota rents under the assumptions of perfectly competitive markets and the absence of substitute suppliers. Section 3 considers imperfect competition and the role of VERs as cartelization instruments, facilitating collusion. Section 4 analyzes the discriminatory effects of VERs when there are third country suppliers. A broad conclusion is that the economic consequences of VERs are more complex than the standard trade policy analysis based on tariffs because of the issues discussed in Sections 3 and 4. Copyright 1989 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

The Design of Stable International Environmental Agreements: Economic Theory and Political Economy

July 2001


78 Reads

International environmental agreements typically strive for the solution of a common property resource dilemma. Since the sovereignty of states precludes external enforcement, international environmental agreements must be self-enforcing. Game theoretical models explain why rewards and punishments imposed through the environmental externality generally fail to enforce full cooperation. Therefore, environmental treaties incorporate provisions that enhance the incentives for participation such as transfers, sanctions and linkage to other negotiation topics in international politics. Moreover, interaction with markets and governments as well as the rules and procedures adopted in the negotiation process influence the design and the effectiveness of an international environmental agreement. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

Assessing the Economic Benefits to Agriculture from Air Pollution Control

March 1997


31 Reads

Agricultural crop production is highly dependent upon environmental conditions among which air quality plays a central role. Various air pollutants have been identified as a potential influence on commercial crops including SO[subscript 2], NO[subscript x], O[subscript 3] and CO[subscript 2]. In particular, ozone in the lower atmosphere has been identified as a serious cause of crop loss in the United States and seems likely to be creating similar losses in Europe. In this paper the methods which can be applied to assess the economic damages from air pollution are critically reviewed. This requires measuring pollutant concentrations, relating these to physical crop damages, and estimating the reactions of the agricultural sector and consumers to give welfare changes in terms of consumers' surplus and producers' quasi-rents. The approach of the European open-top chamber programme (EOTCP) is shown to have neglected lessons learnt by the National Crop Loss Assessment Network (NCLAN) in the US. Copyright 1997 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

The Econometrics of the Holy Grail--A Review of Econometrics: Alchemy or Science? Essays in Econometric Methodology.

February 1995


21 Reads

Books reviewed in this article: David F. Hendry (1993) Econometrics: Alchemy or Science? Essays in Econometric Methodology

Figure 1: In a Normal Distribution any Event Is More or Less Like any Other.
Figure 4: Patterns out of Nothing: Random Walk by 1 000 Data Points Generated Using the Mathematica Pseudo-Random Number Generator Based on a Deterministic Cellular Automaton.
Figure 5: On the Top, the Rule 90 Instruction Table. On the Left the Evolution of Rule 90 from a Random Initial Condition for 100 Steps. On the Right the Total Differences at Every Step between Black and White Cells.
Figure 6: By Extracting a Normal Distribution from the Market Distribution, the Long-Tail Events Are Isolated.
Figure 7: Series of Daily Closing Prices of Five of the Largest Stock Markets from 01/01/2000 to January 01/01/2010. The Best Sequence Length Correlation Suggests that Markets Catch Up with Each Other (Assimilate Each Others' Information) in about 7–10 Days on Average.
An Algorithmic Information-Theoretic Approach to the Behaviour of Financial Markets

August 2010


192 Reads

Using frequency distributions of daily closing price time series of several financial market indexes, we investigate whether the bias away from an equiprobable sequence distribution found in the data, predicted by algorithmic information theory, may account for some of the deviation of financial markets from log-normal, and if so for how much of said deviation and over what sequence lengths. We do so by comparing the distributions of binary sequences from actual time series of financial markets and series built up from purely algorithmic means. Our discussion is a starting point for a further investigation of the market as a rule-based system with an 'algorithmic' component, despite its apparent randomness, and the use of the theory of algorithmic probability with new tools that can be applied to the study of the market price phenomenon. The main discussion is cast in terms of assumptions common to areas of economics in agreement with an algorithmic view of the market.

Multiple-prize contests - The optimal allocation of prizes

February 2009


341 Reads

Multiple-prize contests are important in various fields of economics ranging from rent seeking over labour economics, patent and R&D races to tendering for (governmental) projects. Hence it is crucial to understand the incentive effects of multiple prizes on effort investment. This survey attempts to outline, compare and evaluate the results from the literature. While a first prize always results in a positive incentive to invest effort, second and later prizes lead to ambiguous effects. Depending on the objective function, the characteristics of the individuals and the type of contest a different prize allocation is optimal. Copyright © 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Technological Diffusion: Alternative Theories and Historical Evidence

February 1998


61 Reads

This paper presents an interpretive survey of the neoclassical and evolutionary approaches to modeling the process of technological diffusion, with an orientation that is distinct in two important respects from existing surveys. First, the present survey is designed to provide a comparative overview of the alternative approaches within a unified framework of analysis. The objective is to bring out the areas of convergence as well as divergence between the approaches, and address the issue of whether the approaches could be considered as complementary rather than as alternatives. Second, the survey attempts to link the theoretical methodologies to the variety of empirical and historical evidence, and evaluate how the theories best fit the evidence on the dynamics of the technological diffusion process. Copyright 1998 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

Technological Diffusion: Alternative Theories and Historical Evidence

January 1996


14 Reads

This paper presents an interpretive survey of the neoclassical and evolutionary approaches to modelling the process of technological diffusion, with an orientation that is distinct in two important respects from existing surveys. First, the present survey is designed to provide a comparative overview of the alternative approaches within a unified framework of analysis. Second, related to the first, the survey attempts to link the theoretical methodologies to the variety of empirical and historical evidence, and evaluate how the theories best fit the evidence on the dynamics of the technological diffusion process.

Real options and patent damages: The legal treatment of non-infringing alternatives, and incentives to innovate

September 2006


209 Reads

Patent litigation has become an increasingly important consideration in business strategy. Damage awards in patent litigation are supposed to compensate the patent owner for economic harm created by infringement and are therefore important for protecting returns to innovation. We analyze the effects that a recent court decision in the United States, called Grain Processing , has had on the incentives of potential infringers to infringe and innovators to innovate. We find that Grain Processing has decreased the expected value of damages awards in patent cases by conferring a 'free option' on infringers. Grain Processing also concluded that the patent owner in the case did not suffer lost profits due to the infringement because the infringer would have adopted an (inferior) non-infringing technology had it not infringed. We demonstrate that this conclusion is inconsistent with standard economic models. Copyright 2006 The Authors Journal compilation © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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