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Entrepreneurship as Recombinant Growth

  • Olsson, Ola
  • Frey, Bruno S

The paper presents a model of the entrepreneur as an undertaker of new combinations of ideas. Technology is seen as a set of ideas in a metric technology space where new knowledge is created by the combination of older ideas in the spirit of Schumpeter (1934), Weitzman (1998) and Olsson (2000). Given some intuitive assumptions, we demonstrate that technological progress generated by the convex combination of ideas is constrained by five factors. First, the combinatory process eventually leads to the exhaustion of technological opportunity. Second, the cost of combining ideas increases with the technological distance between the originating ideas. Third, profits are maximized when ideas are combined that are technologically close. Fourth, the technology set is constrained by a social possibility set of socially acceptable ideas. Fifth, the boundaries implied by the ruling technological paradigm limit the scope for eternal recombinant growth. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 69-80

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Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:19:y:2002:i:2:p:69-80
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  1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kauffman, Stuart & Lobo, Jose & Macready, William G., 2000. "Optimal search on a technology landscape," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 141-166, October.
  4. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," NBER Working Papers 3530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 251-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  8. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  9. Iyigun, Murat F & Owen, Ann L, 1999. " Entrepreneurs, Professionals, and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 213-32, June.
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