Chapter 1: Introduction to the handbook
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Thus two important mainstream economists opened their landmark book thirty years ago. The same year several other landmark books were published on the characteristics, organization, and economic importance of technological advancement – such as Caves (1982), Freeman (1982), Nelson and Winter (1982), Rosenberg (1982), Stoneman (1983), to mention a few. They were not even aware of major advances about to penetrate and revolutionize industry, such as genome decoding, mobile telephony and the internet. Little could they also guess about the massive changes in the global political economy that have extensively redistributed innovative activity far beyond the hotbeds of the twentieth century (North America and Western Europe) across Asia and Latin America and countries like Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, India, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa, to name the obvious examples. In these thirty years (1982–2012), investments in public goods, research and development (R & D) investments in particular, have risen around the world so much that governments and the general public in developed and fast-developing countries are very conscious of the opportunities for growth.