Institutions, Innovation and Growth

Institutions, Innovation and Growth

Selected Economic Papers

The Cournot Centre series

Edited by Jean-Philippe Touffut

The first book in this important new series, under the general editorship of Nobel Laureate Robert Solow, Institutions, Innovation and Growth assembles a stellar cast of international contributors. Leading economists join the debate on innovation and economic growth, focussing on a broad spectrum of issues ranging from labour markets to corporate governance. Growth paths within the OECD are also assessed, with particular emphasis on contrasts between US and European models. The book seeks to identify those institutional factors, taking into account different national trajectories, which might serve to promote economic growth in Europe.

About the Sain-Gobain Series

Edited by Jean-Philippe Touffut

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

Extract

About the Saint-Gobain Series Professor Robert Solow The Saint-Gobain Centre for Economic Studies is not a think-tank or a research bureau. It is intended to be a catalyst. My old student dictionary (dated 1936) says that catalysis is the ‘acceleration of a reaction produced by a substance, called the catalyst, which may be recovered practically unchanged at the end of the reaction’. The reaction we have in mind results from bringing together (a) an issue of economic policy that is currently being discussed and debated in Europe and (b) the relevant theoretical and empirical findings of serious economic research in universities, think-tanks and research bureaux. Acceleration is desirable because it is better that reaction occurs before minds are made up and decisions taken, not after. We hope that The Saint-Gobain Centre can be recovered practically unchanged and used again and again. Notice that ‘policy debate’ is not exactly what we are trying to promote. To have a policy debate, you need not only knowledge and understanding, but also preferences, desires, values and goals. The trouble is that, in practice, the debaters often have only those things, and they invent or adopt only those ‘findings’ that are convenient. The Centre hopes to inject the findings of serious research at an early stage. It is important to realize that this is not easy or straightforward. The analytical issues that underlie economic policy choices are usually complex. Economics is not an experimental science. The available data are scarce and may not be exactly...