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The Logic of Appropriability: From Schumpeter to Arrow to Teece

  • Sidney Winter

This note expounds the abstract fundamentals of the appropriability problem, re-assessing insights from three classic contributions – those of Schumpeter, Arrow and Teece. Whereas the first two contributions were explicitly concerned with the implications of appropriability for society at large, Teece’s main concern was with practical questions of business strategy and economic organization. This note argues that, his practical concerns notwithstanding, Teece contributed, en passant but fundamentally, to the clarification of basic questions that previous authors had addressed less comprehensively and less satisfactorily. Specifically, his analysis of the innovator’s access to complementary assets, undertaken from a contracting perspective, can be seen as filling a significant gap in the previous theoretical discussion of appropriability.

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2006/21.

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Date of creation: 11 Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2006/21
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  1. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
  2. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-74, September.
  3. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  4. Nelson, Richard R & Winter, Sidney G, 1982. "The Schumpeterian Tradeoff Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 114-32, March.
  5. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
  6. Partha Dasgupta & Joseph Stiglitz, 1980. "Uncertainty, Industrial Structure, and the Speed of R&D," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 1-28, Spring.
  7. Adam M. Brandenburger & Harborne W. Stuart, 1996. "Value-based Business Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 5-24, 03.
  8. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  9. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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