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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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Innovations, Networks and Collaborations

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Lina Bjerke

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Innovations, Networks and Collaborations

Martin Andersson, Lina Bjerke and Charlie Karlsson

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Franco Malerba, Sunil Mani and Pamela Adams

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Edited by 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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Introducing regional competitiveness and development: contemporary theories and perspectives

Contemporary Theories and Perspectives on Economic Development

Robert Huggins and Piers Thompson

The field of regional development is subject to an ever increasing multiplicity of concepts and theories seeking to explain uneven development across regional contexts. One concept and theoretical tool that has endured and remained keenly discussed since the 1990s is ‘regional competitiveness’. Indeed, the rise of the concept has led to many frameworks and applications emerging and being employed in various contexts. Such variety has been both a blessing and a curse, with the notion of the ‘competitiveness of regions’ remaining an area of contested theoretical debate, especially arguments concerning the extent to which places actually compete for resources and markets. This chapter presents a broad overview of the evolution of regional competitiveness thinking, and aims to make clear the connections across a variety of contemporary regional development theories. The chapter firstly introduces the regional competitiveness concept and discusses its close association with schools of endogenous growth and development theory. The potential for measuring regional competitiveness is considered, before the chapter turns its attention to providing an introduction to some key contemporary theoretical perspectives on regional development. In particular the ideas of regional growth systems, institutions, ‘upstream’ behavioural theories of regional development concerning both cultural and psychological explanations, and concepts of regional ‘resilience’ and ‘well-being’ are considered. The chapter concludes by considering how the differing theoretical perspectives can be integrated, as well as providing an outline of the volume as a whole.

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Pierre Delvenne and François Thoreau

In this chapter, the authors engage with the widespread and influential approach of national innovation systems (NISs). They discuss its adequacy to non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, especially in Latin America, where it is abundantly implemented and tends to be reified, which leads to a situation where relevant contextual elements tend to be ignored. Although the NISs approach is meant to address the most pressing needs of the economies it applies to, namely solving poverty, reducing social inequalities, increasing productivity and creating jobs, the authors argue that it would benefit from developing a more encompassing scope, allowing integration of greater diversity and complexity. By retracing the history of regimes of science, technology and innovation (STI) in Latin America, the authors explore the problems faced by actors willing to use NISs more reflexively. They hereby discuss the effectiveness of STI policies in non-OECD countries. Finally, they formulate a research agenda with three suggestions for further engaging NISs both conceptually and practically. Using such analytical perspectives, they argue, might benefit scholarly work about NISs and could also allow for a better articulation with STI regimes in Southern countries.