The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness

Posted: 20 Nov 2000

See all articles by Robin Cowan

Robin Cowan

Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)

Paul A. David

Stanford University - Department of Economics; University of Oxford - All Souls College; UNU-MERIT (Maastricht)

Dominique Foray

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship Institute (MTEI)

Abstract

This paper attempts a greater precision and clarity of understanding concerning the nature and economic significance of knowledge and its variegated forms by presenting "the skeptical economist's guide to 'tacit' knowledge." It critically reconsiders the ways in which the concepts of tacitness and codification have come to be employed by economists, and develops a more coherent re-conceptualization of these aspects of knowledge production and distribution activities. It seeks also to show that a proposed alternative framework for the study of knowledge codification activities offers a more useful guide for further research directed to informing public policies for science, technological innovation and long-run economic growth.

Suggested Citation

Cowan, Robin and David, Paul A. and Foray, Dominique, The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=245305

Robin Cowan

Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
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Paul A. David (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

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University of Oxford - All Souls College ( email )

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UNU-MERIT (Maastricht) ( email )

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Dominique Foray

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship Institute (MTEI) ( email )

Odyssea
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Lausanne, 1015
Switzerland

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