The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern
Published By: A National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press ISBN: 978-0-226-47303-1 Date of Publication: 2012
Book Review Detail
David Grover of London School of Economics
Review DOI: 10.1257/jel.51.1.190.r11 Review Pages: 208-09
Book Review Abstract
David Grover of London School of Economics reviews, "The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited" edited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern . The Econlit abstract of this book begins: "Thirteen papers, based on the proceedings of the National Bureau of Economic Research 50th Anniversary Conference in honor of the 1962 volume The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, held in Warrenton, Virginia, in the Fall of 2010, plus thirteen comments, present theoretical and empirical contributions to fundamental questions relating to the economics of innovation and technological change, while revisiting the findings of the 1962 work. Papers discuss funding scientific knowledge—selection, disclosure, and the public–private portfolio; the diffusion of scientific knowledge across time and space—evidence from professional transitions for the scientific elite; the effects of the Foreign Fulbright Program on knowledge creation in science and engineering; Schumpeterian competition and diseconomies of scope—illustrations from the histories of Microsoft and IBM; how entrepreneurs affect the rate and direction of inventive activity; diversity and technological progress; how competition policy best promotes innovation; the effects of the Plant Patent Act on biological innovation; the rate and direction of invention in the British Industrial Revolution—incentives and institutions; the confederacy of heterogeneous software organizations and heterogeneous developers—field experimental evidence on sorting and worker effort; the consequences of financial innovation—a counterfactual research agenda; the adversity/hysteresis effect—Depression-era productivity growth in the U.S. railroad sector; and the recombination and reuse of key general purpose technologies. Includes three panel discussions from the 2010 conference that discuss the impact of the 1962 Rate and Direction volume—a retrospective; innovation incentives, institutions, and economic growth; and the art and science of innovation policy. Lerner is Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking in the Harvard Business School at Harvard University. Stern is School of Management Distinguished Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management in the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Author and subject indexes."
L26: Entrepreneurship M13: New Firms; Startups N70: Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services: General, International, or Comparative O30: Technological Change; Research and Development: General