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Substitution and complementarity in endogenous innovation

Young, Alwyn (1993) Substitution and complementarity in endogenous innovation. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 108 (3). pp. 775-807. ISSN 0033-5533

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Identification Number: 10.2307/2118408


The influence of Joseph Schumpeter's notion of 'creative destruction' may have led to an overemphasis on substitution between technologies in recent models of endogenous innovation. Historical examples of technological change suggest that new technologies may just as frequently complement older technologies, creating, rather than destroying, rents. Acknowledgement of the potential for both substitution and complementarity among inventions allows for a much richer characterization of the growth process, creating the possibility of threshold effects and multiple equilibria and bringing to the forefront the important role played by the expectations of inventive entrepreneurs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1993 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
T Technology > T Technology (General)
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O10 - General
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2011 13:23
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2024 22:45

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