Keywords: integrated circuits, industrial policy, political economy, semiconductor industry, research institutions, public private partnerships, industrial transformation, knowledge transfer, globalisation, technology migration, global industrial migration, production capacity, Taiwan, USA, United States, government role, cost reduction
Global industrial migration: the case of the integrated circuit industry
This paper investigates the global technological migration of the integrated circuit industry from the discovery of semiconductors in 1958 to the founding of a dominant industry model in the late 1980s. The critical turning points we focus on are: 1. the birth of the industry in the USA in the late 1950s; 2. the global change in the business model effected in 1987 by Taiwanese government intervention; 3. the current migration of production capacity to China. Our scope is limited to the USA in discussing the birth and early days of the industry, and to Taiwan in discussing industrial migration. It underscores the role of government and cost reduction in the global migration of the industry. The conclusions of the paper suggest that international technology migration is not an automatic process but the result of specific efforts on the part of the countries involved.