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Learning-By-Producing And The Geographic Links Between Invention And Production: Experience From The Second Industrial Revolution

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  • Dhanoos Sutthiphisal

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Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of “learning-by-producing” on inventive activity and shows that, in both emerging (electrical equipment and supplies) and maturing (shoes and textiles) industries, the geographic association between invention andproduction was rather weak during the Second Industrial Revolution. Regional shifts in production were neither accompanied nor followed by corresponding increases in invention. Instead, this paper finds that the geographic location of inventive activity tended to mirror the geographic distribution of individuals with advanced technical skills appropriate to the particular industry in question. Even in the craft-based shoe industry, much of the invention came from those with the advanced technical skills. The findings suggest that scholars have over-emphasized the importance of learningby-producing in accounting for the geographic differences in inventive activity, and underestimated the significance of technical skills or human capital amongst the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Dhanoos Sutthiphisal, 2006. "Learning-By-Producing And The Geographic Links Between Invention And Production: Experience From The Second Industrial Revolution," Departmental Working Papers 2006-18, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2006-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alwyn Young, 1991. "Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alwyn Young, 1991. "Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 369-405.
    3. L. D. H. Weld, 1912. "Specialization in the Woolen and Worsted Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 67-94.
    4. Mass, William, 1989. "Mechanical and Organizational Innovation: The Drapers and the Automatic Loom," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 876-929, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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