Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Understanding Creativity

Contents:

Author Info

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The discipline of economics has traditionally refused to study the behavior and achievements of specific individuals. Yet creativity – a primary source of the technological change that drives economic growth – is largely the domain of extraordinary individuals or small groups. For the first time in the history of the discipline, within the last decade economists have begun to study how these extraordinary individuals make their discoveries, and the results have been dramatic. Research done to date has demonstrated that artistic innovators can usefully be divided into two types. Experimental innovators seek to record their perceptions. They proceed tentatively, by trial and error, building their skills gradually, and making their greatest contributions late in their lives. In contrast, conceptual innovators use their art to express ideas and emotions. The precision of their goals allows them to plan their work, and execute it decisively. Their most radical new ideas, and consequently their greatest innovations, occur early in their careers. The research that has established these patterns has several central components. A key element is the systematic measurement of an artist’s creativity over the course of the life cycle: this not only establishes when the artist made his greatest contribution, but also provides an objective identification of his greatest innovation. This facilitates another key element of the research, the categorization of the artist as experimental or conceptual. This effectively depends on whether the artist works inductively, building his contribution incrementally from observation, or deductively, creating his innovation as a consequence of a new idea. These patterns have been established empirically, by a large number of studies of important practitioners of a wide range of arts. It is now time to extend economic research on creativity, by applying this analysis to other intellectual domains. It is important to recognize that economists’ failure to study individuals has prevented them from understanding the sources of the contributions of the most productive people in our society. Breaking this disciplinary taboo may now allow us not only to understand, but perhaps also to increase, the creativity of these remarkable individuals, and to help others to follow them.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.ucema.edu.ar/publicaciones/download/volume13/galenson.pdf
    Download Restriction: Online access is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Universidad del CEMA in its journal Journal of Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): XIII (2010)
    Issue (Month): (November)
    Pages: 351-362

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:13:y:2010:n:2:p:351-362

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Av. Córdoba 374, (C1054AAP) Capital Federal
    Phone: (5411) 6314-3000
    Fax: (5411) 4314-1654
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.cema.edu.ar/publicaciones/jae.html
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: creativity; experimental innovators; conceptual innovators;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:13:y:2010:n:2:p:351-362. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valeria Dowding).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.