Chapter 2 Innovation as a creative response
The Economics of an Emergent System Property
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The chapter uncovers the merits of the essay ‘The creative response in economic history’ published by Joseph Alois Schumpeter in the Journal of Economic History in 1947 and ‘almost’ forgotten since then. Correct appreciation of this contribution is important for two reasons. First, it enables us to better understand the evolution of Schumpeter’s thinking. The 1947 contribution should be regarded as the final attempt to provide a synthesis of his evolving approaches to understanding the origins, causes and consequences of innovation in economics and in the economy. Second, the 1947 essay portrays innovation as the result of a creative reaction conditional on the context in which it takes place, anticipating the notion of innovation as an emergent property of system dynamics.

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