Cyclical industrial dynamics: The case of the global semiconductor industry

Hao Tan*, John A. Mathews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
296 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we focus on firms' cyclical behavior in the global semiconductor industry. We demonstrate that these cyclical dynamics at the industry level differ from both the business cycles at the macro-economic level and the lengthy industrial technology life cycle. We discuss a range of possible causes of those cyclical industrial dynamics, including the general business cycles as well as industry-specific factors. Our study reports three stylized facts in relation to the cyclical industrial dynamics in the global semiconductor industry: first, the industry is more concentrated during the industry cycle downturns; second, the capital investment of the industry as a whole follows a 'pro-cyclical' pattern; and third, firms that pursued a 'counter-cyclical' capital investment strategy during the industry cycle downturn have reaped rewards during the subsequent cycle period. These facts suggest that cyclical industrial dynamics, especially the industry cycle downturns, play an important role in firm rivalry, strategic positioning and industrial growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-353
Number of pages10
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


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