The ecology of technology: an empirical study of US biotechnology patents from 1976 to 2003The ecology of technology: an empirical study of US biotechnology patents from 1976 to 2003
van Witteloostuijn, Arjen
Faculty of Applied Economics
Antwerp :UA, 2010[*]2010
Research paper / University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics ; 2010:006
University of Antwerp
In organizational ecology, the focus is on the evolution of a population of organizations. Adopting a similar logic, we deal with the evolution of a population of related inventions. By employing a population perspective to technology, we aim to determine to what extent the pattern of technological growth can be attributed to the structural or systemic characteristics of the technology itself. Through an empirical investigation of patent data in the biotechnology industry, we show that a technologys internal (i.e., density and diversity) and external (i.e., crowding and status) characteristics have a significant effect on its growth rate.