The Evolution of the Literature on Technological Change over time: A Survey
This paper reviews the emergence and evolution of major topics in economics of innovation. Throughout the paper, particular attention is devoted to the analysis of the cumulative aspects and complementarities between di_erent paths of research over time. Moreover, this survey highlights the crucial relationship between technological change (TC) and economic growth, and the way in which economics literature has dealt with this issue over time. The structure of this survey distinguishes between different decades and it identifies the key debates in the economics literature in each period. Although relevant steps have been made over time, a systematic and satisfactory integration of di_erent theoretical perspectives appears still to be found. In recent years, there have been more sophisticated empirical and theoretical attempts to deal with TC at several, and more disaggregated, levels of analysis. Notwithstanding such advancements, further research is needed to ensure the development of a more general theory of the determinants and the effects of TC. In turn, such theory has to deal primarily with an assessment of both the complementarities between the economic incentives and the internal mechanisms of the so-called "black box" (Rosenberg, 1994), and the heterogeneity which characterises the innovative process of firms across different sectors, countries and over time.
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