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American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 3 (May 2011)

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Optimal Learning Patterns for Creativity Generation in a Field

Article Citation

Feinstein, Jonathan S. 2011. "Optimal Learning Patterns for Creativity Generation in a Field." American Economic Review, 101(3): 227-32.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.227

Abstract

I present a model of optimal learning for creativity generation in a field. The field is defined as a knowledge structure. A creative contribution is based on combining two previously unconnected elements, generating a new element. Individuals may possess private information/intuition about new combinations. Individuals contribute the maximum creative contribution they are able to produce based on the set of elements they have learned. In equilibrium individuals learn different elements, with some degree of overlap, effectively pursuing distinct creative interests. The model illustrates a general approach for analyzing the creative development of fields and, in a broader sense, cultural innovation.

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Authors

Feinstein, Jonathan S. (Yale U)

JEL Classifications

D83: Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
Z10: Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology: General


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