Journal Article

Where do innovations come from? Transformations in the US economy, 1970–2006

Fred Block and Matthew R. Keller

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 7, issue 3, pages 459-483
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwp013
Where do innovations come from? Transformations in the US economy, 1970–2006

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This article seeks to reconnect to scholarship from the 1970s and 1980s that emphasized significant discontinuities in the development of the US economy. Drawing on a unique data set of prize-winning innovations between 1971 and 2006, we document three key changes in the US economy. The first is an expanding role of inter-organizational collaborations in producing award-winning innovations. The second is the diminishing role of the largest corporations as sources of innovation. The third is the expanded role of public institutions and public funding in the innovation process. This leads us to the surprising conclusion that the USA increasingly resembles a Developmental Network State in which government initiatives are critical in overcoming network failures and in providing critical funding for the innovation process.

Keywords: capitalism; varieties of; innovation; O31 technological change, research and development—innovation and invention: processes and incentives; O32 management of technological innovation and R&D

Journal Article.  9275 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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