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The laws of imitation and invention: Gabriel Tarde and the evolutionary economics of innovation

  • Faridah Djellal


    (CLERSE - CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et technologies)

  • FaÏz Gallouj


    (CLERSE - CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et technologies)

Gabriel Tarde was a French sociologist and criminologist whose work is rediscovered from time to time. Economists of innovation have paid insufficient attention to an author who devoted a large part of his work to the laws of imitation and invention. The purpose of this paper is threefold. The first is to give a succinct account of these laws of imitation and invention. The second is to re-examine and extend the debates on the similarities between Schumpeter and Tarde. The third and main purpose is to examine the similarities, hitherto unexplored to the best of our knowledge, between Tarde's work and contemporary neo-Schumpteterian and evolutionary theories.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00960607.

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Date of creation: 18 Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00960607
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  1. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  2. Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
  3. Dosi, Giovanni, 1982. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 147-162, June.
  4. Malerba, Franco, 1992. "Learning by Firms and Incremental Technical Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 845-59, July.
  5. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  6. Schumpeter, Joseph A., 1947. "The Creative Response in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 149-159, November.
  7. Fleck, James, 1994. "Learning by trying: the implementation of configurational technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 637-652, November.
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