Which Industries are Served by Online Markets for Technology?

Gary Dushnitsky, London Business School, and Thomas Klueter, IESE Business School

Science Direct, April 2017

Abstract: This study investigates a recent phenomenon in the market for technology: online marketplaces for technological inventions, which support the listing, search, and exchange of technological inventions by sellers and buyers. Focusing on three salient theoretical factors that affect markets for technology — search costs, ambiguity about the underlying knowledge and its applications, and expropriation concerns — our research systematically explores which industries are served by online marketplaces. We exploit the fact that the magnitude of these factors varies across industries and identify key features of online marketplaces that may address these factors. Our proprietary dataset covers 12 online marketplaces for technology and spans over 140 industries. The results indicate that online marketplaces are more likely to serve an industry with (a) a higher cost of searching for technologies in that industry, (b) greater ambiguity about the underlying technology’s potential applications across industries, and (c) greater ability to protect inventions from expropriation.

Read the full paper here.

Michelle Eckert is Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Mack Institute, where she works to engage students, researchers, and corporate partners in opportunities for collaboration. Michelle received her B.A. in Art from Valparaiso University in 2007. Her background includes two AmeriCorps terms of service working to teach mathematics, computer literacy, and job readiness skills to out-of-school youth in Philadelphia, focusing particularly on promoting access to post-secondary education.