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Old masters and young geniuses: The two life cycles of human creativity

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Abstract

There are two fundamentally different approaches to innovation, and each is associated with a distinct pattern of discovery over the life cycle. Experimental innovators work by trial an error, and arrive at their major contributions gradually, late in life. Conceptual innovators make sudden breakthroughs, usually at an early age. Both types of innovators have made important contributions to art and science.

Suggested Citation

  • David Galenson, 2009. "Old masters and young geniuses: The two life cycles of human creativity," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 12, pages 1-9, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:12:y:2009:n:1:p:1-9
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Etro & Silvia Marchesi & Laura Pagani, 2011. "The Labor Market in the Seventeenth-Century Italian Art Sector," Working Papers 215, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2011.
    2. Etro, Federico & Pagani, Laura, 2012. "The Market for Paintings in Italy During the Seventeenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 423-447, June.
    3. Matthias Krapf, 2015. "Age and complementarity in scientific collaboration," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 751-781, September.
    4. Laibson, David I. & Agarwal, Sumit & Driscoll, John C. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2009. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life-Cycle with Implications for Regulation," Scholarly Articles 4554335, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Bertacchini Enrico & Friel Martha, 2013. "Understanding creativity and innovation in industrial design: an historical and empirical assessment," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201311, University of Turin.
    6. Sumit Agarwal & John C Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2007. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001752, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Federico Etro & Silvia Marchesi & Laura Pagani, 2015. "The Labor Market In The Art Sector Of Baroque Rome," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 365-387, January.
    8. Jun-ichi Itaya & Heinrich Ursprung, 2008. "Price and Death," CESifo Working Paper Series 2213, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. David W. Galenson, 2005. "Toward Abstraction: Ranking European Painters of the Early Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 11501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    creativity; experimental innovators; conceptual innovators;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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