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Maastricht Reflections on Innovation

Author

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  • Soete, Luc

    () (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht University)

Abstract

"Innovation is good for you" appears actually the common feature of most science, technology and innovation studies over the last decades. This appears, however surprising given the fact that innovation failure rather than innovation success appears a much more common feature. Hence the simple, but straightforward question which will be central in this Tans lecture: could it be that innovation is not always good for you? A frequently heard argument is that at a societal level, innovation is renewing society's dynamics and hence leading to higher levels of economic development and welfare. A process of creative destruction destroying maybe a few incumbents to the benefit though of many newcomers. However, sometimes the exact opposite pattern: a process of destructive innovation, benefiting a few at the expense of many, will occur. In this period of "crises" examples abound of such destructive creation processes. In this Tanslecture some typical examples will be highlighted: our unsustainable fossil-fuel based economic growth at the global level; European monetary integration at the European level; financial innovation at the sectoral level.

Suggested Citation

  • Soete, Luc, 2012. "Maastricht Reflections on Innovation," MERIT Working Papers 001, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2012001
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2012/wp2012-001.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Calvano, Emilio, 2006. "Destructive Creation," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 653, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 30 Dec 2007.
    2. Ramani, Shyama V., 2008. "Playing in Invisible Markets: Innovations in the Market for Toilets to Harness the Economic Power of the Poor," MERIT Working Papers 012, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Pierre Garrouste & Stavros Iaonnides, 2001. "Evolution and Path-Dependency in Economic Ideas: Past and Present," Post-Print halshs-00274526, HAL.
    4. Heijke Hans & Meng Christoph, 2007. "Discipline-specific and academic competencies of the higher educated: their value in the labour market and their acquisition in education," ROA Working Paper 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; Creative Destruction; Destructive Creation; Economic Growth; International Relations; Financial Crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • 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
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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