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TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AND COMPETITION IN THE GLOBAL WIRELESS HANDSET MARKET: 1980-2014

Dr. Tuna Baskoy


Early neoclassical economists treat technology as exogenous, fixed, and partial function of relative prices. Recent scholars include technology as endogenous, but there is no consensus among them regarding what constitutes technology, let alone its role in business competition. From a critical political economy perspective, this study specifically concentrates on Thorstein B. Veblen’s neglected view of technology and provides a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between technology and market competition. The paper also applies his approach to the global wireless phone market from 1980 to 2014 with a specific focus on the handset market as a case study. The underlying argument in this essay is that technology is an array of alternative ways and means of dealing with problems related to the material means of life and subject to choice during which power and profit expectations play a role. While Section I provides a brief literature review, Section II defines technology and elaborates on its connection to industry, business enterprise, and market competition in Veblen’s view before applying it to the wireless phone industry between 1980 and 2014 in Section III. Finally, Section IV section discusses the implications and summarizes the findings.