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Innovation as an Emerging System Property: an Agent Based Model

The paper elaborates the notion of innovation as an emerging property of complex system dynamics and presents an agent-based model of an economy where systemic knowledge interactions among heterogeneous agents are crucial for the generation of new technological knowledge and the introduction of innovations. In this approach external knowledge is an indispensable input,together with internal learning and research activities, into the generation of new knowledge. The introduction of innovations is analyzed as the result of systemic interactions among myopic agents that are credited with an extended procedural rationality that includes forms of creative reaction. The creative reaction of agents may lead to the introduction of productivity enhancing innovations. This takes place only when the structural and institutional characteristics of the system are such that agents, reacting to out-of equilibrium conditions, can actually take advantage of external knowledge available within the innovation system into which they are embedded. Building upon agentbased simulation techniques the paper explores the effects that alternative configurations of the intellectual property right regimes play in assessing the chances to generate new technological knowledge and shows how the different architectural configurations of the structure into which knowledge interactions take place affect the rates of introduction of technological innovations. The results of the simulation model suggest that the dissemination of knowledge favors the emergence of creative reactions and hence faster rates of introduction of technological innovations.

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio Carlo Alberto. WP series with number 200911.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:200911
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  1. David, Paul & Aghion, Philippe, 2008. "Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Growth: Linking Policy Research and Practice in "STIG Systems"," MPRA Paper 12096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Cristiano Antonelli & Pier Paolo Patrucco & Francesco Quatraro, 2008. "The governance of localized knowledge externalities," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 479-498.
  3. Weitzman, Martin L, 1996. "Hybridizing Growth Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 207-12, May.
  4. John Foster, 2005. "From simplistic to complex systems in economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 873-892, November.
  5. Cowan Robin & Jonard Nicolas & Zimmermann J-B, 2004. "Evolving Networks of Inventors," Research Memorandum 018, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  6. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2003. "Localized Technological Change," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200305, University of Turin.
  7. Pietro Terna, 2009. "The epidemic of innovation - playing around with an agent-based model," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(7), pages 707-728.
  8. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Recombinant Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 331-360, May.
  9. Paul David & Louise Keely, 2003. "The endogenous formation of scientific research coalitions," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 93-116.
  10. J. Barkley Rosser, 1999. "On the Complexities of Complex Economic Dynamics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 169-192, Fall.
  11. Claudine Gay & William Latham & Christian Le Bas, 2008. "Collective Knowledge, Prolific Inventors And The Value Of Inventions: An Empirical Study Of French, German And British Patents In The Us, 1975-1999," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1-2), pages 5-22.
  12. Durlauf,S.N., 2003. "Complexity and emperical economics," Working papers 2, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  13. Fleming, Lee & Sorenson, Olav, 2001. "Technology as a complex adaptive system: evidence from patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1019-1039, August.
  14. Jan Vandekerckhove & Raymond De Bondt, 2008. "Asymmetric Spillovers And Investments In Research And Development Of Leaders And Followers," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 417-433.
  15. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2009. "An introduction to the system dynamics of technological change: the basic tools," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200905, University of Turin.
  16. M. Ozman, 2009. "Inter-firm networks and innovation: a survey of literature," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 39-67.
  17. Elad Harison, 2008. "Intellectual Property Rights In A Knowledge-Based Economy: A New Frame-Of-Analysis," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 377-400.
  18. Pier Paolo Patrucco, 2009. "Collective knowledge production costs and the dynamics of technological systems," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 295-310.
  19. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
  20. Krugman, Paul, 1994. "Complex Landscapes in Economic Geography," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 412-16, May.
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