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The Evolution of the Literature on Technological Change over time: A Survey


  • Andrea Conte



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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Conte, 2006. "The Evolution of the Literature on Technological Change over time: A Survey," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2007-01, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:egpdis:2007-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feldman, Maryann P. & Audretsch, David B., 1999. "Innovation in cities:: Science-based diversity, specialization and localized competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 409-429, February.
    2. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
    3. Michael Fritsch & Pamela Mueller, 2004. "Regional Growth Regimes Revisited - The Case of West Germany," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-04, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    4. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
    5. David Audretsch & Michael Fritsch, 2002. "Growth Regimes over Time and Space," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 113-124.
    6. Horst Brezinski & Egon Franck & Michael Fritsch (ed.), 1998. "The Microeconomics of Transformation and Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1600.
    7. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2001. "The Microeconomics of Technological Systems," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245536, June.
    8. Michael Fritsch & Oliver Falck, 2003. "New Firm Formation by Industry over Space and Time: A Multi-Level Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 322, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-185, March.
    10. Maryann Feldman, 1999. "The New Economics Of Innovation, Spillovers And Agglomeration: Areview Of Empirical Studies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 5-25.
    11. Johnson, P S & Cathcart, D G, 1979. "The Founders of New Manufacturing Firms: A Note on the Size of Their 'Incubator' Plants," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 219-224, December.
    12. Gerlinde Sinn & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1994. "Jumpstart: The Economic Unification of Germany," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691728, July.
    13. David Audretsch & Michael Fritsch, 2003. "Linking Entrepreneurship to Growth: The Case of West Germany," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 65-73.
    14. Cristiano Antonelli, 2000. "Collective Knowledge Communication and Innovation: The Evidence of Technological Districts," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(6), pages 535-547.
    15. van Ark, Bart, 1998. "Productivity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 171-174, June.
    16. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Conte & Marco Vivarelli, 2014. "Succeeding in innovation: key insights on the role of R&D and technological acquisition drawn from company data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 1317-1340, December.
    2. Andrea Conte, 2013. "Determinants of policy reforms in the fields of R&D, education and innovation: EU-27 evidence during the Lisbon Decade," Chapters,in: Governance, Regulation and Innovation, chapter 5, pages 122-146 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    Technological change; economic growth; induced innovation; diffusion; evolutionary economics; path dependence;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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