Has the market structure for inventive ideas in the Information and Communications Technology (“ICT”) equipment industry undergone dramatic changes in the last three decades in the United States? What does statistical evidence from U.S. patent activity suggest about change to the concentration of sources of inventive ideas? This Study characterizes levels, and changes in those levels, in the concentration of sources of new invention from 1976 to 2010. The analysis finds pervasive deconcentration across a wide set of areas. It also finds that the deconcentration takes place despite the role lateral entry by existing firms plays in driving concentration levels up. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that the deconcentration trend cannot be attributed to a single supply factor in the market for ideas, such as the breakdown of AT&T during the deregulation of the telecommunications industry.

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