Catch-up Cycles and Changes in Industrial leadership:Windows of Opportunity and Responses of Firms and Countries in the Evolution of Sectoral Systems

Document Type : Translation



This study proposes a framework that aims to explain why successive changes in industry leadership(catch-up cycle) occur over time in a sector. In catch-up cycles, latecomer firms and countries emerge as international  leaders, whereas incumbents lose their previous positions. New leaders are then dethroned by newcomers. To  identify factors at the base of catch-up cycles, this article adopts a sectoral system framework and identifies  windows of opportunity that may emerge during the long-run evolution of an industry. This study proposes  three windows related to the specific dimensions of a sectoral system. One dimension is related to changes in  knowledge and technology. The second dimension pertains to changes in demand, and the third includes  changes in institutions and public policy. The combination of the opening of a window (technological, demand,  or institutional/policy)and the responses of firms and other components of the sectoral system of the  latecomer and incumbent countries determines changes in industrial leadership and catch-up. Sectors differ  according to the type of windows that may open and the responses of firms and other components of systems.  


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