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The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness

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  • Cowan, Robin
  • David, Paul A
  • Foray, Dominique

Abstract

This paper attempts a greater precision and clarity of understanding concerning the nature and economic significance of knowledge and its variegated forms by presenting "the skeptical economist's guide to 'tacit knowledge."' It critically reconsiders the ways in which the concepts of tacitness and codification have come to be employed by economists and develops a more coherent re-conceptualization of these aspects of knowledge production and distribution activities. It seeks also to show that a proposed alternative framework for the study of knowledge codification activities offers a more useful guide for further research directed to informing public policies for science, technological innovation and long-run economic growth. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Cowan, Robin & David, Paul A & Foray, Dominique, 2000. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 211-253, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:9:y:2000:i:2:p:211-53
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David, P. A., 1997. "From market magic to calypso science policy a review of Terence Kealey's The economic laws of scientific research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 229-255, May.
    2. David, Paul A., 1994. "Why are institutions the 'carriers of history'?: Path dependence and the evolution of conventions, organizations and institutions," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 205-220, December.
    3. Dosi, G & Egidi, M, 1991. "Substantive and Procedural Uncertainty: An Exploration of Economic Behaviours in Changing Environments," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 145-168, April.
    4. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297-297.
    5. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    6. Giovanni Dosi & Christopher Freeman & Richard Nelson & Gerarld Silverberg & Luc Soete (ed.), 1988. "Technical Change and Economic Theory," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1988.
    7. 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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