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The Evolutionary Complexity of Endogenous Innovation

The Engines of the Creative Response

Cristiano Antonelli

The notion of endogenous innovation as the outcome of the creative response of firms to out-of-equilibrium conditions is the cornerstone of the new evolutionary complexity. This book elaborates and applies the theoretical framework established in the author’s previous work Endogenous Innovation: The Economics of an Emergent System Property. This volume carefully explores the role of the reactivity of firms to out-of-equilibrium conditions. It also examines the quality of knowledge governance mechanisms in assessing the levels of externalities that define the likelihood of creative responses, as an alternative to adaptive responses.
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Chapter 6: The cost of knowledge

Cristiano Antonelli and Alessandra Colombelli


This chapter explores the knowledge cost function, the study of which makes possible important progress in grasping the determinants of the large variance in the cost of innovation across firms. The amount of external knowledge and internal stocks of knowledge that firms can access and use in the generation of new technological knowledge helps firms reduce the costs of innovation. The empirical section is based upon companies listed on the financial markets in the UK, Germany, France and Italy for the period 1995–2006 for which information about patents have been gathered. The econometric analysis of the costs of innovation knowledge considers the unit costs of patents alongside R & D expenditure and the stock of internal and external knowledge for each firm. The results confirm that the stock of internal knowledge and access to external knowledge play key roles in assessing the actual capability of each firm to generate new technological knowledge.

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