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Edited by Maureen McKelvey and Jun Jin

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Cristiano Antonelli

The notion of endogenous innovation as the outcome of the creative response of firms to out-of-equilibrium conditions is the cornerstone of the new evolutionary complexity. This chapter explores the role of the reactivity of firms to out-of-equilibrium conditions and of knowledge governance in assessing the chances that creative responses actually take place as an alternative to adaptive responses. It implements a systemic frame able to show that: i) the quality of knowledge governance is a determinant in making the response of firms creative rather than adaptive; and ii) the levels of firms’ reactivity enhance the rates of introduction of innovations and increase total factor productivity.

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Jan Fagerberg

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Jan Fagerberg

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Standing on the shoulders of giants

The Economics of an Emergent System Property

Cristiano Antonelli

This chapter highlights the limits of current approaches to the economics of innovation. It also stresses their role in articulating a theory of innovation as an endogenous process that relies upon the characteristics of the system in which the response of firms to unexpected mismatches in both labour and factor markets takes place. The role of Marshallian contributions to Schumpeterian thinking is stressed.

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Richard Hawkins and Knut Blind

This introduction explores the conceptual background and definitions that pertain to understanding standards and standardization in the context of innovation. A general overview is provided of the themes explored in the chapters that follow.

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Edited by Franco Malerba, Sunil Mani and Pamela Adams

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Franco Malerba, Sunil Mani and Pamela Adams

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What capitalism was

Technology Displaced by Financial Innovation

William Kingston

Capitalism was not an inevitable historical evolution, but a unique combination of a particular emphasis on the value of individuals and individual property rights. During the past three centuries, as McCloskey has estimated it, individuals in the Western world have become richer by a factor of 30. Schumpeter wrote what was intended to be history of it in terms of economic ‘cycles’, but was weak on the causality of these because he did not give enough importance to institutions. However, in the form of changing property rights, these are the key to the origin and development of capitalism. The wealth that this generated came from technological innovation, but the pace of this slowed after World War I, and after a brief resurgence due to the Second World War, it was progressively replaced by innovations in finance. Capitalism’s power to generate real wealth was eroded from within, and Schumpeter’s prediction of its replacement by socialism became increasingly plausible.

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Henrique Schneider

The chapter provides the background on the economics of this book, on the ‘sharing economy’ and how Uber can be assessed as an economic agent. This book understands markets as open-ended undetermined series of exchanges between a potentially unlimited number of agents. These agents engage voluntarily in the different market processes without knowing more than the other agents but judging their own beliefs, preferences and costs subjectively. Agents use the market processes in order to learn about other agents’ beliefs, preferences and costs. Market processes are cooperative actions. Whatever might be labelled the sharing economy relies on these market processes and does not in any way fundamentally change them. The sharing economy is not different from the traditional economy; to the contrary, it applies and broadens the application of market processes and individual actions. However, the role that technology plays is important. With the development of online networking, e- and online payment methods as well as individual online mobility, many business models gain scale and scope. Technology often makes it possible to diminish costs of participating in a market process, to learn quickly or gather information in a timely manner as well as to scale up some market processes. Uber, in due entrepreneurial spirit, seized this opportunity and turned it into a successful business model.