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Entrepreneurship As Recombinant Growth

Author

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  • Olsson, Ola

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Frey, Bruno S.

    () (Institute for Empirical Economic Research, University of Zürich)

Abstract

The paper presents a model of the entrepreneur as an undertaker of new combinations of ideas. Technology is seen as a set of ideas in a metric technology space where new knowledge is created by the combination of older ideas in the spirit of Schumpeter (1934), Weitzman (1998) and Olsson (2000). Given some intuitive assumptions, we demonstrate that technological progress generated by the convex combination of ideas is constrained by five factors: First, the combinatory process eventually leads to the exhaustion of technological opportunity. Second, the cost of combining ideas increases with the technological distance between the originating ideas. Third, profits are maximized when ideas are combined that are technologically close. Fourth, the technology set is constrained by a social possibility set of socially acceptable ideas. Five, the boundaries implied by the ruling technological paradigm limits the scope for eternal recombinant growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Olsson, Ola & Frey, Bruno S., 2001. "Entrepreneurship As Recombinant Growth," Working Papers in Economics 51, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    2. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
    3. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    4. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    5. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    6. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    7. Iyigun, Murat F & Owen, Ann L, 1999. "Entrepreneurs, Professionals, and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 213-232, June.
    8. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 251-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kauffman, Stuart & Lobo, Jose & Macready, William G., 2000. "Optimal search on a technology landscape," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 141-166, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. McNamee, Robert C., 2013. "Can’t see the forest for the leaves: Similarity and distance measures for hierarchical taxonomies with a patent classification example," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 855-873.
    2. Antonelli, Cristiano & Krafft, Jackie & Quatraro, Francesco, 2010. "Recombinant knowledge and growth: The case of ICTs," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 50-69, March.
    3. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2008. "Optimal diversity: Increasing returns versus recombinant innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 565-580, December.
    4. Milo Bianchi & Magnus Henrekson, 2005. "Is Neoclassical Economics still Entrepreneurless?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 353-377, July.
    5. Consoli, Davide & Patrucco, Pierpaolo, 2004. "The Knowledge Trade-Off: Circulation, Growth and the Role of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services in Urban Innovation Systems," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200402, University of Turin.
    6. Karolina Safarzyńska & Jeroen Bergh, 2013. "An evolutionary model of energy transitions with interactive innovation-selection dynamics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 271-293, April.
    7. Safarzyńska, Karolina & Brouwer, Roy & Hofkes, Marjan, 2013. "Evolutionary modelling of the macro-economic impacts of catastrophic flood events," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 108-118.
    8. Mark Sanders, 2007. "Scientific Paradigms, Entrepreneurial Opportunities and Cycles in Economic Growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 339-354, April.
    9. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & David L. Rigby, 2015. "The geography and evolution of complex knowledge," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1502, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2015.
    10. van den Heuvel, Stijn T.A. & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2009. "Multilevel assessment of diversity, innovation and selection in the solar photovoltaic industry," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 50-60, March.
    11. Safarzynska, Karolina & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2011. "Beyond replicator dynamics: Innovation-selection dynamics and optimal diversity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 229-245, May.
    12. Paul A. David & Francesco Rullani, 2008. "Dynamics of innovation in an “open source” collaboration environment: lurking, laboring, and launching FLOSS projects on SourceForge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 647-710, August.
    13. Karolina Safarzyńska & Jeroen Bergh, 2010. "Evolutionary models in economics: a survey of methods and building blocks," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 329-373, June.
    14. Sandro Montresor & Francesco Quatraro,, 2018. "Green Technologies and Smart Specialisation Strategies: A European Patent-Based Analysis of the Intertwining of Technological Relatedness and Key-Enabling-Technologies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201808, University of Turin.
    15. Safarzyńska, Karolina & Frenken, Koen & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2012. "Evolutionary theorizing and modeling of sustainability transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1011-1024.
    16. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:252-265 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:139-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Andrea Bonaccorsi, 2011. "A Functional Theory of Technology and Technological Change," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economic Complexity of Technological Change, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    recombinant growth; technology; ideas; technology space;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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