The invention of invention

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Title: The invention of invention
Authors: Kelly, Morgan
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Date: Sep-2005
Abstract: This paper models an industrial revolution as a qualitative transition from a world where innovation is infrequent and haphazard to one where it is continuous and systematic. Pre-industrial innovation is treated as a social process where an individual's effectiveness as an innovator depends on the skills of other individuals in his social network. As technology improves, individuals invest more time in learning through social contact. This gradual increase in linkage formation leads to a sudden change in the size of knowledge networks from small, isolated clusters, to a large connected cluster spanning most of the economy, causing a sudden increase in the effectiveness of innovation: an industrial revolution. The predicted sequence of typical innovators - from gifted amateurs, to lucky amateurs, to professionals - is consistent with empirical evidence. This paper is part of the International Trade and Investment Programme of the Geary Institute at UCD.
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Series/Report no.: UCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series; WP05/15
Copyright (published version): UCD School of Economics 2005
Keywords: Industrial revolutionSocial networksInnovation
Subject LCSH: Industrial revolution
Technological innovations
Social networks
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Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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