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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 7: The cost of knowledge and productivity growth

Cristiano Antonelli and Agnieszka Gehringer


This chapter shows how and why the use of external knowledge is necessary to complement the recombinant generation of new knowledge. When access to external knowledge occurs at costs below the social value of knowledge, firms benefit from pecuniary knowledge externalities and are actually able to introduce productivity-enhancing innovations. The empirical evidence on 20 OECD countries confirms that the growth of total factor productivity is negatively associated with the costs of knowledge. Total factor productivity thus increases faster where and when the costs of knowledge are lower.

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