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The system dynamics of collective knowledge: From gradualism and saltationism to punctuated change

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  • Antonelli, Cristiano

Abstract

The economics of localized technological change provides an original framework to model the dynamics of introduction of new technologies as the result of the interaction between the inducement to change the technology, generated by the mismatch between plans and expectations, and the characteristics of the system. Collective knowledge emerges when knowledge widening leads to knowledge deepening. The interplay between networking costs and knowledge supermodularity can explain both punctuated and gradual change. Smooth, Marshallian dynamics can easily generate major Schumpeterian discontinuities. The divide between the theories of discontinuous and gradual growth can be reconciled when the essence of the Schumpeterian and Marshallian approach is properly combined. Small variations in the parameters can generate either gradual or discontinuous changes. Punctuated technological change is likely to take place when the interplay between positive and negative knowledge externalities leads to the creation of commons of collective knowledge and hence new technological systems. The correct appreciation of the interactions between individual action and the characteristics of the environment makes room for a system dynamics framework able to explain in a single context both Marshallian gradualism and Schumpeterian saltationism.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 62 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 215-236

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:62:y:2007:i:2:p:215-236

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  1. Patrucco, Pier Paolo, 2002. "The Emergence of Technology Systems: Knowledge Production and Distribution in the Case of the Emilian Plastics District," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200206, University of Turin.
  2. Mokyr, Joel, 1990. "Punctuated Equilibria and Technological Progress," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 350-54, May.
  3. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
  4. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  5. Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
  6. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2001. "The Microeconomics of Technological Systems," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245536, October.
  7. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
  8. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1969. "Classificatory Notes on the Production and Transmission of Technological Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 29-35, May.
  9. Christoph H. Loch & Bernardo A. Huberman, 1999. "A Punctuated-Equilibrium Model of Technology Diffusion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(2), pages 160-177, February.
  10. Levinthal, Daniel A, 1998. "The Slow Pace of Rapid Technological Change: Gradualism and Punctuation in Technological Change," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 217-47, June.
  11. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Marchionatti, Roberto, 1999. "On Keynes' Animal Spirits," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 415-39.
  13. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A New View of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 573-78, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Patrucco, Pier Paolo, 2008. "Complexity and Organizational Change in the Coordination of Technological Knowledge: Evidence from the Automobile Cluster in Turin," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200808, University of Turin.
  2. Consoli, Davide & Patrucco, Pier Paolo, 2013. "Complexity and the Coordination of Technological Knowledge: The Case of Innovation Platforms," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 20133, University of Turin.
  3. Antonelli Cristiano & Scellato Giuseppe, 2011. "Complexity and Technological Change: Knowledge Interactions and Firm Level Total Factor Productivity," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201102, University of Turin.
  4. Wu, Jie, 2012. "Technological collaboration in product innovation: The role of market competition and sectoral technological intensity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 489-496.
  5. Cristiano Antonelli, 2007. "Localized Technological Knowledge: Pecuniary Knowledge Externalities And Appropriability," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-09, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  6. Lepratte, Leandro, 2011. "Sistemas sociotécnicos, innovación y desarrollo
    [Sociotechnical systems, innovation and development]
    ," MPRA Paper 33559, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Antonelli, Cristiano & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2008. "Out of Equilibrium Profit and Innovation," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200804, University of Turin.
  8. Cristiano, Antonelli & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2007. "Complexity and Innovation: Social Interactions and Firm Level Total Factor Productivity," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200709, University of Turin.
  9. Cristiano Antonelli & Pier Paolo Patrucco & Francesco Quatraro, 2008. "The governance of localized knowledge externalities," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 479-498.
  10. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2008. "Pecuniary Externalities: the Convergence of Directed Technological Change and the Emergence of Innovation Systems," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200807, University of Turin.

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