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Rethinking invention: cognition and the economics of technological creativity

  • Magee, Gary B.

Economists have typically not devoted much attention to the act of invention. This paper attempts to redress this situation by exploring a form of cognition, analogical transfer, which is thought by some researchers to lie at the heart of successful creativity. An analogical transfer is said to have occurred when information and experiences from one known situation is retrieved and utilized in the search for the solution to an entirely different situation. This paper shows how such analogical thought can give rise to a theoretical framework, in which disparate factors pertaining to technological creativity can be pieced together to yield an explanation of the level of inventive output experienced.

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

Volume (Year): 57 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 29-48

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:57:y:2005:i:1:p:29-48
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Magee, Gary Bryan, 1999. "Technological Development and Foreign Patenting: Evidence from 19th-Century Australia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 344-359, October.
  2. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-47, September.
  3. Cowan, Robin & Foray, Dominique, 1997. "The Economics of Codification and the Diffusion of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 595-622, September.
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  10. Nonaka, Ikujiro & Toyama, Ryoko & Nagata, Akiya, 2000. "A Firm as a Knowledge-Creating Entity: A New Perspective on the Theory of the Firm," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-20, March.
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  13. Lawton Smith, Helen & Dickson, Keith & Smith, Stephen Lloyd, 1991. ""There are two sides to every story": Innovation and collaboration within networks of large and small firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 457-468, October.
  14. Bianchi, Patrizio & Bellini, Nicola, 1991. "Public policies for local networks of innovators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 487-497, October.
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  16. Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
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