New Economic and Socio-Economic Approaches
Edited by Jean Gadrey and Faïz Gallouj
Jean Gadrey and Faïz Gallouj By the end of the twentieth century, the developed economies had been characterized, variously, as information economies, knowledge economies, postindustrial economies and, more recently, ‘new economies’. In strictly factual terms, however, the characteristic that leaps most noticeably to the eye is the strong and sustained growth over recent decades of the share of services in employment and in nominal GDP. Although economists and other social scientists have been producing noteworthy studies of these activities for a long time, in an attempt both to explain their growth and to examine the economic and social challenges they pose, the relative share of research on services can be said still to be lagging behind that of services in economic activity. Two of the principal topics that researchers on services have been concerned with are, on the one hand, productivity and, more generally, performance in service activities and, on the other, innovation in and through services. These two questions are obviously connected, if it is accepted that medium and long-term economic performance are strongly linked to the dynamism of innovation. This dual issue lies at the heart of the present book, which has its origins in an international conference held in the northern French cities of Lille and Roubaix in June 2000 and attended by most of the leading researchers on these topics. All the contributors to this book have long experience of theoretical and empirical research on services. Their extensive empirical knowledge of services has led most...