The Sources of Economic Growth by Richard R. NelsonThe Sources of Economic Growth by Richard R. Nelson

The Sources of Economic Growth

byRichard R. Nelson

Paperback | March 15, 2000

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Technological advance is the key driving force behind economic growth, argues Richard Nelson. Investments in physical and human capital contribute to growth largely as handmaidens to technological advance. Technological advance needs to be understood as an evolutionary process, depending much more on ex post selection and learning than on ex ante calculation. That is why it proceeds much more rapidly under conditions of competition than under monopoly or oligopoly.

Nelson also argues that an adequate theory of economic growth must incorporate institutional change explicitly. Drawing on a deep knowledge of economic and technological history as well as the tools of economic analysis, Nelson exposes the intimate connections among government policies, science-based universities, and the growth of technology. He compares national innovation systems, and explores both the rise of the United States as the world's premier technological power during the first two-thirds of the twentieth century and the diminishing of that lead as other countries have largely caught up.

Lucid, wide-ranging, and accessible, the book examines the secrets of economic growth and why the U.S. economy has been anemic since the early 1970s.

Richard R. Nelson is George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs, Business, and Law, Emeritus, at Columbia University.
Title:The Sources of Economic GrowthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pagesPublished:March 15, 2000Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674001729

ISBN - 13:9780674001725


Table of Contents


Part I: A Perspective on Economic Growth and Technical Advance
1. Research on Productivity Growth and Productivity Differences: Dead Ends and New Departures
2. Capitalism as an Engine of Progress

Part II: Schumpeterian Competition
3. Schumpeter and Contemporary Research on the Economics of Innovation
4. Why Do Firms Differ, and How Does It Matter?
5. On Limiting or Encouraging Rivalry in Technical Progress: The Effect of Patent-Scope Decisions

Part III: Science and Technical Advance
6. The Role of Knowledge in R&D Efficiency
7. The Link between Science and Invention: The Case of the Transistor
8. American Universities and Technical Advance in Industry

Part IV: International Differences and International Convergence
9. The Rise and Fall of American Technological Leadership: The Postwar Era in Historical Perspective
10. National Innovation Systems: A Retrospective on a Study


From Our Editors

Richard R. Nelson draws on his vast knowledge of economic and technological history and the tools of economic analysis to explain the links between public policies, science-based universities and technological growth. A perceptive and clever essay collection introducing growth theory, The Sources of Economic Growth compares national innovation systems, examining the United States’ rise as the world’s leading technological power during the early 20th century and how that lead has declined as other countries begin to catch up.

Editorial Reviews

The book contains ten papers that have been published in different professional journals between 1990 and 1994 with one paper dating back to 1962 and another published in 1981...For those readers that are familiar with Richard Nelson's work (and who would not be?) the book has the enjoyable déjôvu effect: it is nice to have the pieces together...The book is easy and enjoyable to read and recommended to a broad general public of economists.