The Economics of Innovation
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The Economics of Innovation is a new title in the Routledge Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Economics. Edited by Cristiano Antonelli, a leading scholar in the field, it is a four-volume collection of canonical and the best cutting-edge research.
Many would argue that the economics of innovation is founded on the work of Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950), though its origins can also be traced to the writings of Adam Smith (1723–90) and Karl Marx (1818–83). In modern, knowledge-based economies, characterized by rapid innovation, interest in the area has exploded in recent decades and innovation economics is increasingly the object of professional and highly specialized research. The resultant body of scholarly literature is characterized by its multiplicity of perspectives from within economics, and, indeed, across the social sciences as a whole. Furthermore, methodologies borrowed from the natural sciences, such as epidemiology, life-cycle analysis and Darwinian evolution, have also contributed to recent advances. The sheer scale of the growth in the research corpus - and the breadth of the field - makes this collection especially timely and welcome.
Volume One Innovation and Growth: The Classical Legacy brings together material from and about the foundational sources of the classical analysis of the endogenous determinants of technical change, with the writings of Smith and Marx providing the two key points of departure. Volume Two Innovation and Competition: The Schumpeterian Legacy collects key research following the work of Kenneth J. Arrow (b. 1921), in particular his two 1962 papers on the economics of learning and the economics of knowledge.
Schumpeter’s contribution to the economics of innovation is unparalleled. A key definition of innovation; an understanding of the concentration of innovation in time and space with the notion of ‘gales of creative destruction’; and the analysis of the fundamental role of the corporation are all based on his thinking. Volume Three Innovation and Knowledge: The Arrovian Legacy brings together the best - and most influential - work produced in Schumpeter’s wake.
The material collected in Volume Four Innovation and Complexity elaborates a single approach where innovation is considered as a key emergent property of an economic system recognized as both dynamic and complex, i.e. constituted by heterogeneous components that interact and change both the architecture and the performance of the whole. In this approach innovation is the result of a path-dependent, collective process that takes place in a localized context, if, when and where a sufficient number of creative reactions are made in a coherent, complementary and consistent way. Broadly speaking, this approach is the result of the integration of the strands of analysis identified in the preceding three volumes within the new emerging paradigm of complexity.
With a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, The Economics of Innovation is an essential collection destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital research resource.