Technology-push, demand-pull and the shaping of technological paradigms - Patterns in the development of computing technology

Jan Van Den Ende*, Wilfred Dolfsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


An assumption generally subscribed to in evolutionary economics is that new technological paradigms arise from advances is science and developments in technological knowledge. Further, demand only influences the selection among competing paradigms, and the course of the paradigm after its inception. In this paper, we argue that this view needs to be qualified and modified. We demonstrate that, in the history of computing technology in the 20th century, a distinction can be made between periods in which either demand or knowledge development played the bigger role in shaping the technological paradigms. In the demand enabled periods, new technological (sub-)paradigms in computing technology have emerged as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Demand-pull
  • History of computing
  • Technological paradigms
  • Technology-push

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