Table of Contents

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 25: Comments

David Encaoua

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


David Encaoua Even if the preceding two chapters do not deal exactly with the same notions, their topics overlap to some extent. This allows a joint discussion with specific comments, when necessary, to either one or the other chapter. Both chapters contribute to open the discussion on two very interesting and general issues: 1. What is the role of collaborative user-centered innovators (Eric von Hippel terminology) or peer production (Yochai Benkler terminology) in the dynamics of innovation? Do we need specific public policies to support or to favor this form of collaborative research based on the principle of non-exclusion and free disclosure? And if the answer is yes, what should these policies be? I will structure my discussion around the following questions: 1. Is it possible to draw some boundary between projects for which research activity could be organized around collaborative usercentered or peer production principles and those that could not? In other words, what are the main drivers of the development of the open cooperative research regime? Can the agents’ behavior in the peer production system be characterized as a form of ‘involuntary altruism’ or is it better to describe their behavior as reflecting specific preferences towards equity and fairness? Finally, what can we say on government policies to support or favour the open regime? 2. 2. 3. 25.1 THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN DIFFERENT RESEARCH REGIMES Let me begin by recalling the main notions. According to Eric von Hippel terminology, user innovators are either firms or individuals that develop innovations...

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