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