TITLE Increasing Returns and the Genesis of American Resource Abundance
AUTHOR(S) David,-Paul-A.; Wright,-Gavin
SOURCE (BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION) Industrial-and-Corporate-Change;6(2), March 1997, pages 203-45..
ABSTRACT The USA became the world's leading mineral-producing nation between 1870 and 1910, a development paralleled by the rising resource-intensity of American manufacturing. This paper challenges the premise that resource abundance simply reflected the country's geological endowment of mineral deposits. Instead, in the century following 1850 the USA exploited its natural resource potentials to a far greater extent than other countries, and did so across virtually the entire range of industrial minerals. The paper argues that "natural resource abundance" was an endogenous, "socially constructed" condition that was not geologically preordained. It examines the complex legal, institutional, technological and organizational adaptations that shaped the US supply-responses to the expanding domestic and international industrial demands for minerals and mineral products. It suggests that strong "positive feedbacks"--even in the exploitation of depletable resources--were responsible for the explosive growth of the American minerals economy.
TITLE Standards, Trade and Competition in the Emerging Global Information Infrastructure Environment AUTHOR(S) David,-Paul-A.; Steinmueller,-W.-Edward
SOURCE (BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION) Telecommunications-Policy;20(10), December 1996, pages 817-30..
ABSTRACT Decentralized construction of the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) is substituting market-driven, 'de facto' standards and voluntary agreements on standards for technical compatibility, in place of the engineering decisions once made by public (and quasi-public) telecommunications network operators. Due to strategic economic behaviours on the part of private businesses and national governments, the goal of a fully interoperable GII remains elusive. The Internet does not offer an entirely credible alternative model, as the standards that have facilitated its explosive growth also are contributing to serious congestion problems, and the solutions proposed point to the Internet's re-integration into the public switched telecommunications network. Technical standards will shape the GII's implications for international trade and competition, and thus raise important, but inadequately recognized issues for regulation, competition and trade policy.
TITLE Standardization, Diversity and Learning: Strategies for the Coevolution of Technology and Industrial Capacity
AUTHOR(S) David,-Paul-A.; Rothwell,-Geoffrey-S.
SOURCE (BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION) International-Journal-of-Industrial-Organization;14(2), April 1996, pages 181-201..
ABSTRACT This paper presents a model of industrial process standardization, diversity, and learning. The authors show that, when the effects of learning through diversity are strong, the present value of long-run costs can be minimized with either complete standardization or with complete experimentation where no two plants are similar in the early stages of the industry. They also discuss the relevance of these and other analytical results to the U.S. nuclear industry's standardization policies.
TITLE Marshallian Factor Market Externalities and the Dynamics of Industrial Localization
AUTHOR(S) David,-Paul-A.; Rosenbloom,-Joshua-L.
SOURCE (BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION) Journal-of-Urban-Economics;28(3), November 1990, pages 349-70..
ABSTRACT When an industry has thus choosen a locality for itself, it is likely to stay there long: so great are the advantages which people following the same skilled trade get from near neighborhood to one another. . . . A localized industry gains a great advantages from the fact that it offers a constant market for skill. Employers are apt to resort to any place where they are likely to find a good choice of workers. . . ; while men seeking employment naturally go to places where there are many employers who need such skill as theirs. . . . The advantages of variety of employment are combined with those of localized industries in some of our manufacturing towns, and this is a cheif cause of their continued growth.
TITLE The Future of Path-Dependent Equilibrium Economics
SOURCE (BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION) Stanford Center for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper Series: 155, August 1989, pages 31.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this paper is to encourage further cooperation between economic theorists and applied economists of an historical persuasion. It emphasizes the variety and richness of dynamic problems in economics that possess a common structure arising from the interdependence of individual agents' choices under conditions of positive local feedback. These problems are shown to lend themselves to a research approach that explicitly allows for historical contingency, and many of them may be modelled as stochastic systems that are first-order markovian but possess a multiplicity of absorbing states. A heuristic model for dynamic process involving multiple coordination equilibria is drawn from the literature on additively interacting Markov processes; conditions are given for the ex ante predictability of the particular stable attractor towards which the process will converge.
TITLE Computer and Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox in a Not-Too-Distant Mirror
SOURCE (BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION) Stanford Center for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper Series: 172, July 1989, pages 67. American-Economic-Review;80(2), May 1990, pages 355-61.
ABSTRACT Many observers of contemporary economic trends have been perplexed by the contemporary conjuncture of rapid technological innovation with disappointingly slow gains in measured productivity. The purpose of this essay is to show modern economists, and others who share their puzzlement in this matter, the direct relevance to their concerns of historical studies that trace the evolution of techno-economic regimes formed around "general purpose engines". For this purpose an explicit parallel is drawn between two such engines--the computer and the dynamo. Although the analogy between information technology and electrical technology would have many limitations were it to be interpreted very literally, it nevertheless proves illuminating.
TITLE Path-Dependence: Putting The Past Into The Future of Economics
SOURCE (BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION) Stanford Institute for Mathematical Studies in the Social Sciences (Economic Series) Technical Report: 533, August 1988, pages 61.
ABSTRACT The future of economics as an intellectually exciting discipline lies in its becoming an historical social science. A strong sense of how "history matters" can be gained by studying the behavior of stochastic systems whose outcomes are path-dependent. This property arises where a stochastic process of resource allocation cannot be described by a first-order Markov chain; and also in dynamical systems where the transition probabilities are strictly state dependent (first-order Markovian) but there exists a multiplicity of absorbing states. Path-dependent processes are non-ergodic and their outcomes need not be globally efficient. But, in some instances, they arise under conditions in which ex ante prediction of the outcome is quite feasible.