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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 29: The Rumblings of a Paradigm Shift: Concluding Comments

Manuel Trajtenberg

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


Manuel Trajtenberg I would like first of all to thank Dominique Foray for having done a great job in organizing the very exciting conference that gave rise to this book. Indeed, Dominique managed to put together a highly stimulating volume, by assembling contributions from a superb group of scholars that come from varied backgrounds and hold eclectic views, yet share common concerns about research and development (R&D) and innovation. I will try to frame my remarks in this closing chapter so as to reflect common threads that emerged in many of the contributions to this volume, particularly in Luc Soete’s chapter. In fact, I can think of three key issues that underlie a great deal of current concerns in this area: 1. What should be the unit of analysis for policy formation in the global economy, given that science, technology and R&D are also swept by the winds of globalization? Should the individual state or country be (still) the prime unit, or rather a wider or narrower regional entity? What about meta-state institutions such as the European Union (EU)? How do the geographical, the political and the economic dimensions fare in this respect? Which fundamental premises should inform science and technology (S&T) policy, and what should be corresponding goals of such policy? Does the 1960 Nelson–Arrow paradigm still constitute the basic economic rationale for S&T policy? What are the policy instruments that could best serve those goals, in light of their underlying economic rationale? In...

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