HOME
        TheInfoList






Innovation economics is a growing economic theory that emphasizes entrepreneurship and innovation. In his 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, economist Joseph Schumpeter introduced the notion of an innovation economy. He argued that evolving institutions, entrepreneurs and technological changes were at the heart of economic growth. However, it is only in recent years[when?] that "innovation economy," grounded in Schumpeter's ideas, has become a mainstream concept".[1]

Historical origins

Joseph Schumpeter was one of the first and most important scholars who extensively tackled the question of innovation in economics.[2] In contrast to his contemporary John Maynard Keynes, Schumpeter contended that evolving institutions, entrepreneurs and technological change were at the heart of economic growth, not independent forces that are largely unaffected by policy. He argued that "capitalism can only be understood as an evolutionary process of continuous innovation and 'creative destruction'".[3][4][clarification needed]

It is only in the 21st century that a theory and narrative of economic growth focused on innovation that was grounded in Schumpeter's ideas has emerged. Innovation economics attempted to answer the fundamental problem in the puzzle of total factor productivity growth. Continual growth of output could no longer be explained only in increase of inputs used in the production process as understood in industrialization. Hence, innovation economics focused on a theory of economic creativity that would impact the theory of the firm and organization decision-making. Hovering between heterodox economics that emphasized the fragility of conventional assumptions and orthodox economics that ignored the fragility of such assumptions, innovation economics aims for joint didactics between the two. As such, it enlarges the Schumpeterian analyses of new technological system by incorporating new ideas of information and communication technology in the global economy.[5]

Innovation economics emerges from other schools of thought in economics, including new institutional economics, new growth theory, endogenous growth theory, evolutionary economics and neo-Schumpeterian economics. It provides an economic framework that explains and helps support growth in today’s knowledge economy.

Leading theorists of innovation economics include both formal economists as well as management theorists, technology policy experts and others. These include Paul Romer, Elhanan Helpman, Bronwyn Hall, W. Brian Arthur, Robert Axtell, Richard R. Nelson, Richard Lipsey, Michael Porter, Keun Lee and Christopher Freeman.

Theory

Innovation economists believe that what primarily drives economic growth in today’s knowledge-based economy is not capital accumulation as neoclassical economics asserts, but innovative capacity spurred by appropriable knowledge and technological externalities. Economic growth in innovation economics is the end-product of:[5][6]

In 1970, economist Milton Friedman said in the New York Times that a business’s sole purpose is to generate profits for their shareholders and companies that pursued other missions would be less competitive, resulting in fewer benefits to owners, employees and society.[7] Yet, data over the past several decades shows that while profits matter, good firms supply far more, particularly in bringing innovation to the market. This fosters economic growth, employment gains and other society-wide benefits. Business school professor David Ahlstrom asserts that "the main goal of business is to develop new and innovative goods and services that generate economic growth while delivering benefits to society".[8]

In contrast to neoclassical economics, innovation economics offer differing perspectives on main focus, reasons for economic growth and the assumptions of context between economic actors:

Despite the differences in economic thought, both perspectives are based on the same core premise, namely the

In contrast to neoclassical economics, innovation economics offer differing perspectives on main focus, reasons for economic growth and the assumptions of context between economic actors:

Despite the differences in economic thought, both perspectives are based on the same core premise, namely the foundation of all economic growth is the optimization of the utilization of factors and the measure of success is how well the factor utilization is optimized. Whatever the factors, it nonetheless leads to the same situation of special endowments, varying relative prices and production processes. Thus, while the two differ in theoretical concepts, innovation economics can find fertile ground in mainstream economics, rather than remain in diametric contention.[5]

Evidence

Empirical evidence worldwide points to a positive link between technological innovation and economic performance. The drive of biotech firms in Germany was due to the biotech firms in Germany was due to the R&D subsidies to joint projects, network partners and close cognitive distance of collaborative partners within a cluster. For instance: