The Engines of the Creative Response
Chapter 9: The endogenous dynamics of pecuniary knowledge externalities
This chapter elaborates an agent-based simulation model (ABM) to explore the endogenous long-term dynamics of knowledge externalities. ABMs, as a form of artificial cliometrics, allow analysis of the effects of the reactivity of firms caught in out-of-equilibrium conditions, combined with endogenous knowledge externalities stemming from the levels of knowledge connectivity of the system. The simulation results show the working of endogenous knowledge externalities as well as their powerful effects. At the micro-level, the reactions of firms caught in out-of-equilibrium conditions yield successful effects in the form of productivity-enhancing innovations only in the presence of high levels of knowledge connectivity and strong pecuniary knowledge externalities. At the meso-level, the introduction of innovations changes the structural characteristics of the system in terms of knowledge connectivity that affect the availability of knowledge externalities. Endogenous centrifugal and centripetal forces continually reshape the structure of the system and its knowledge connectivity. At the macro-system level, an out-of-equilibrium process leads to a step-wise increase in productivity combined with non-linear patterns of output growth characterized by significant oscillations typical of the long waves in Schumpeterian business cycles.
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