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Knowledge creation as a square dance on the Hilbert cube

  • Berliant, Marcus
  • Fujita, Masahisa

This paper presents a micro-model of knowledge creation through the interactions among a group of people. Our model incorporates two key aspects of the cooperative process of knowledge creation: (i) heterogeneity of people in their state of knowledge is essential for successful cooperation in the joint creation of new ideas, while (ii) the very process of cooperative knowledge creation affects the heterogeneity of people through the accumulation of knowledge in common. The model features myopic agents in a pure externality model of interaction. Surprisingly, in the general case for a large set of initial conditions we find that the equilibrium process of knowledge creation converges to the most productive state, where the population splits into smaller groups of optimal size; close interaction takes place within each group only. This optimal size is larger as the heterogeneity of knowledge is more important in the knowledge production process. Equilibrium paths are found analytically, and they are a discontinuous function of initial heterogeneity.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2884/1/MPRA_paper_2884.pdf
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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/4680/1/MPRA_paper_4680.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2884.

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Date of creation: 12 Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2884
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  1. Aoki, Masahiko, 1994. "The Contingent Governance of Teams: Analysis of Institutional Complementarity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(3), pages 657-76, August.
  2. Jovanovic, Boyan & Rob, Rafael, 1989. "The Growth and Diffusion of Knowledge," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 569-82, October.
  3. Keely,L.C., 2002. "Exchanging good ideas," Working papers 14, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Marcus Berliant & Robert R. Reed, III & Ping Wang, 2000. "Knowledge exchange, matching, and agglomeration," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation and the Life-Cycle of Products," CEP Discussion Papers dp0445, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  7. Keely, Louise C., 2003. "Exchanging good ideas," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 192-213, August.
  8. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 339-378, December.
  9. Masahisa Fujita & Shlomo Weber, 2003. "Strategic Immigration Policies and Welfare in Heterogeneous Countries," KIER Working Papers 569, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
  11. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  12. Auerswald, Philip & Kauffman, Stuart & Lobo, Jose & Shell, Karl, 2000. "The production recipes approach to modeling technological innovation: An application to learning by doing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 389-450, March.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  14. Marcus Berliant & Masahisa Fujita, 2009. "Dynamics of knowledge creation and transfer: The two person case," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 155-179.
  15. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Knowledge barter in cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 327-345, September.
  16. Ajay Agrawal & Iain Cockburn & John McHale, 2003. "Gone But Not Forgotten: Labor Flows, Knowledge Spillovers, and Enduring Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 9950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2008. "Against Intellectual Monopoly," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000002371, UCLA Department of Economics.
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