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Endogenous Innovation

The Economics of an Emergent System Property

Cristiano Antonelli

This ground-breaking new book builds upon the Schumpeterian creative response. The author shows that firms, in out-of-equilibrium conditions, try and react by means of introducing innovations. The success of their reaction is contingent upon their access conditions to knowledge, which are shaped by the system in which they operate. The emergence of new innovations can, in turn, knock firms further out-of-equilibrium and cause changes in the system properties that govern their access to external knowledge. This path dependent loop of interactions between the system properties and the individual actions of firms, accounts for endogenous innovation and the dynamics of the system.
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Chapter 2: Innovation as a creative response

The Economics of an Emergent System Property

Cristiano Antonelli

Extract

The chapter uncovers the merits of the essay ‘The creative response in economic history’ published by Joseph Alois Schumpeter in the Journal of Economic History in 1947 and ‘almost’ forgotten since then. Correct appreciation of this contribution is important for two reasons. First, it enables us to better understand the evolution of Schumpeter’s thinking. The 1947 contribution should be regarded as the final attempt to provide a synthesis of his evolving approaches to understanding the origins, causes and consequences of innovation in economics and in the economy. Second, the 1947 essay portrays innovation as the result of a creative reaction conditional on the context in which it takes place, anticipating the notion of innovation as an emergent property of system dynamics.

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