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

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

Chapter:
(p.35) Some Features of Research by Economists on Technological Change Foreshadowed by The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity
Source:
The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited
Author(s):
Richard R. Nelson
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226473062.003.0003

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

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