Chapter 8 Digital knowledge generation and the appropriability trade-off
The Economics of an Emergent System Property
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The introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) has changed in depth the organization of the generation of knowledge, reducing significantly knowledge absorption costs and improving knowledge interactions. The digital generation of knowledge relies on the systematic access and use of the stock of quasi-public knowledge. ICT enables us to reconsider the knowledge appropriability trade-off as it helps us to better appreciate the positive role of knowledge spillovers in the recombinant generation of new knowledge alongside the well-known negative effects of the limited appropriability of knowledge on revenues, and hence incentives to innovate. This new analytical framework calls for an augmented role of telecommunications policy that should take into account the positive effects of knowledge connectivity on the generation of knowledge.

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