Technology life cycle and specialization patterns of latecomer countries: The case of the semiconductor industry

G. Triulzi

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic

140 Downloads (Pure)


Catching-up, leapfrogging and falling behind in terms of output and
productivity in high-tech industries crucially depends on firms' ability
to keep pace with technological change. In fast changing industries
today's specialization does not guarantee tomorrow's success as changes
in the technological trajectories reward and punish firms'
specialization patterns. This highlights the importance of studying the
relationship between technology life cycle and specialization patterns
of new and incumbent innovators. From an empirical point of view life
cycles have been extensively analysed at the industry and product level
but not so deeply at the technology one (even though plenty of
theoretical contributions exist). We define a methodology to describe
the life cycle stages of the main technological paradigm within an
industry and of the technological areas it is composed of. The
methodology is based on the analysis of the age composition of the
different areas and of the characteristics of their technological
trajectories. We use the classification of the life cycle stages of the
single areas to investigate specialization patterns of new and incumbent
innovators. Our results show that up to the end of the 1990s firms from
Taiwan, Korea and Singapore specialized mainly in areas at the later
stages of their life cycles, whereas US and Japanese firms were
comparatively better in younger areas. Specialization patterns changed
in the beginning of the 2000s, when the Asian Tigers started to become
comparatively stronger in emerging areas.

Keywords: Technology Life Cycle, Industry Life Cycle, Product Life
Cycle, Specialization Patterns, Technological Paradigms, Technological
Trajectories, Main Path Analysis, Catching-up, Semiconductors, Citation
networks, Community Detection
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers

Cite this