Innovation and Employment

Innovation and Employment

Process versus Product Innovation

Charles Edquist, Leif Hommen and Maureen McKelvey

Which kinds of growth lead to increased employment and which do not? This is one of the questions that this important volume attempts to answer. The book explores the complex relationships between innovation, growth and employment that are vital for both research into, and policy for, the creation of jobs.

Preface

Charles Edquist, Leif Hommen and Maureen McKelvey

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, industrial economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation

Extract

The relations between innovations, growth and employment are extremely complex, but also very important from a socioeconomic and political point of view - and thereby from a research and policy point of view. The complex whole can be divided into the relations between (1) innovations and growth, (2) innovations and employment and (3) growth and employment. These relations are represented in Figure P.1. Innovations (1) (2) Growth Figure P.1 (3) Employment Interrelations of innovation, growth and employment Innovations and employment (‘2’ in Figure P.1) will be the main focus in this book. However, we will also address the relations between growth and employment (‘3’ in Figure P.1). Let us here set the stage for this discussion.1 When politicians discuss remedies for the unemployment problem, they often claim that more rapid growth is what would solve or mitigate it. Such a statement is unclear in the sense that it does not specify what kind of growth is meant. Is it, for example, economic growth (GDP growth) or productivity growth? Everyone talking about ‘growth’ and employment should be specific on this issue, since the employment consequences of these two kinds of growth are very different! ix PRELIMS 21/5/01 2:08 pm Page 10 x Innovation and employment It is increasingly important for both policy makers and social scientists to make such distinctions, and to clarify their implications for employment, given the rise in recent years of public concern about the idea of ‘jobless growth’ due to technological unemployment. Popular works articulating such...