General Purpose Technologies as an emergent property

Vladimir Korzinov, Ivan Savin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We address the emergence of General Purpose Technologies (GPTs), the process which has been largely neglected in the literature on technological change. We do this from a novel network-based perspective emphasizing the relations between technologies and how combinations of those technologies form final goods. Transforming GPT emergence into a question of technology adoption we demonstrate that GPTs are more likely to emerge when certain conditions with regard to the following techno-economic factors are met: knowledge diffusion, concentration of R&D efforts and variation in the rank of expected returns on products. Focusing solely on a discovery process our model demonstrates an impressive fit to real data reproducing a number of stylised facts including technological lock-ins, S-shaped curves of technology adoption, temporal clustering of innovations and distinct features of empirical networks of relatedness among technologies and products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-104
Number of pages17
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • General purpose technology
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge diffusion
  • Pervasiveness of technologies
  • Technology networks


Dive into the research topics of 'General Purpose Technologies as an emergent property'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this