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The New Economics of Technology Policy

The New Economics of Technology Policy

Edited by Dominique Foray

This book focuses on technological policies, in other words all public interventions intended to influence the intensity, composition and direction of technological innovations within a given entity (region, country or group of countries). The editor has gathered together many of the leading scholars in the field to comprehensively explore numerous avenues and pathways of research. The book sheds light on the theory and practice of technological policies by employing modern analytical tools and economic techniques.

Chapter 5: Can we Link Policy Practice with Research on ‘STIG Systems’? Toward Connecting the Analysis of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy with Realistic Programs for Economic Development and Growth

Philippe Aghion, Paul A. David and Dominique Foray

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


1 Philippe Aghion, Paul A. David and Dominique Foray 5.1 INTRODUCTION: AN OVERVIEW OF THE ARGUMENT The conceptualization of science, technology and innovation (STI) systems has gained acceptance among social scientists and other policy analysts. The appeal of this perspective has grown with the widening recognition of the existence of a multiplicity of interdependencies among the processes of scientific discovery and invention, technological change and innovative economic activities, and the intricate connections that the former have with specific features of any given society’s political, legal and social institutions. Behind much of the interest that presently focuses upon that intricate and still far from thoroughly understood nexus of dynamic interrelationships is the supposition that its structural properties play a powerful role among the determinants of the nature, pace and direction of macroeconomic growth. The processes of long-run growth and development, however, are themselves complex and no less intricately entangled with institutions affecting the growth of knowledge and the distribution of information that touch many aspects of human creative activity besides the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge. It cannot reasonably be imagined, even for theoretical exercises, that resource investments in the ‘STI subsystem’ will automatically yield steady flows of innovation that somehow immediately ‘plug into’ economic production systems to yield growth – even if that is what is depicted 46 Can we link policy practice with research on ‘STIG systems’? 47 simplistically by many of the still fashionable macroeconomic growth models. What is called for, instead, is a more concerted effort to...

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