Taking as given that calls for alternative approaches to innovation subsume reservations about the dominant disciplinary role of economics, this chapter seeks to advance progress towards critical studies of innovation by outlining a baseline set of economic concepts, methodologies, and findings against which the explanatory powers of alternative models may be compared and contrasted. Considered also are whether proffered alternatives approximate the economist's concept of substitutes, of either/or choices among analytical paradigms, or may constructively serve as complements that variously augment, refine, balance, or bound concepts contained within economics. Selected for consideration are the following five topics: (1) determinants of the choice of production techniques by firms; (2) determinants of the rate and direction of inventive activity; 3) determinants of the adoption of new production technologies; (4) the impact(s) of technological innovation on the wealth and growth of nations; and (5) the impacts of technological innovation on the distribution of income.
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