Innovation and lock-in

Cantner, Uwe and Vannuccini, Simone (2017) Innovation and lock-in. In: Bathelt, Harald, Cohendet, Patrick, Henn, Sebastian and Simon, Laurent (eds.) The Elgar companion to innovation and knowledge creation. Economics 2017 . Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 165-181. ISBN 9781782548522

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Abstract

The concept of lock-in can certainly be listed among those weighing most heavily in the conceptual toolbox used by scholars of innovation and evolutionary economics. Processes of competitive diffusion, or choice between alternatives of ‘unknown merit’, are known to generate lock-in, that is, inflexible outcomes, and this finding has critical implication for the study of economic dynamics and history-dependent processes. In this chapter, we first summarize what is known in the economic literature about the nature of lock-in, and we discuss if lock-ins are really inescapable, especially when innovation is concerned. Second, we employ the replicator dynamics model, suggesting a parallel between monopolization and lock-in, and show that the convergence of a system to the dominance of a single alternative does not have to be inescapable; rather, it is strongly dependent on the regime and parameters characterizing the competition between alternatives. In particular, the interaction of positive reinforcements driving market selection and negative reinforcements occurring at the level of each individual alternative generates outcomes far from the lock-in into one uncontestable alternative.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography
Depositing User: Simone Vannuccini
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2018 09:30
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2019 08:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/77453
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