Knowledge Enclosures, Forced Specializations and Investment Crisis
Like land before the industrial revolution, much knowledge is being enclosed in private hands. These enclosures have become a major factor in specialization among firms and among countries: both are forced to specialize in the fields that are not restricted by the enclosures of the others. This forced specialization is highly asymmetric and involves strong self-reinforcing innovation patterns: we show that it is mainly driven by the existing knowledge enclosures, and that it polarizes investment opportunities among firms and, even more so, among countries. Moreover, also the world economy as a whole suffers from this restriction of investment opportunities, which, in our view, is one of the factors contributing to the present crisis.
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