Some Features of Research by Economists on Technological Change Foreshadowed by <i>The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity</i>

Richard R. Nelson

in The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226473031
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226473062 | DOI:
Some Features of Research by Economists on Technological Change Foreshadowed by The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity

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This chapter focuses on some broad lessons that have emerged since the 1960 conference and on important methodological issues that have been raised. An important divide exists between the type of theory and empirical research emphasized within the United States (and within the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)) and the interdisciplinary, evolutionary approach that has been emphasized by researchers such as those at the Science Policy Research Unit in the United Kingdom. Some of the underlying tensions between these two camps were foreshadowed in the earlier volume of the book: the largely empirical tradition pioneered by Kuznets and Schmookler (and reflected in the NBER Productivity Program and its growth under Zvi Griliches) sat (sometimes uncomfortably) alongside the detailed case studies or innovation systems studies emphasized within the evolutionary tradition.

Keywords: research by economists; technological change; empirical research; interdisciplinary approach; Science Policy Research

Chapter.  3318 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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