Foundations for Policy Consensus
In this introduction, we explore some of the theory and evidence underlying both policymakers’ and scholars’ growing concern over the continuing weakness of economic growth in the West and the role innovation must play in strengthening it. The great British economist A.C. Pigou once wrote that the goal of research is both fruit and light – light, meaning, better understanding of the world, and fruit, meaning, the ability to change the world in a meaningful way. The objective of this book is both light and fruit – to better understand the innovation process within countries and to provide a better basis for shaping pro-innovation policies. But first, we must ask, why is innovation so crucial to the wellbeing of the world and those who live in it? Why is innovation the first link in the causal chain whose end result is economic wellbeing?