What Is the Innovation Problem?

25 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2016 Last revised: 24 Sep 2016

Date Written: September 22, 2016


In modern innovation economics, the underlying economic problems are market failure in private investment in new ideas, along with the coordination problems and the disruptive consequences of innovation. Innovation policy addresses the innovation problem with government action. Drawing upon the ideas of McCloskey, Hayek, Williamson and Ostrom, we propose a different conception of the innovation problem that emphasizes institutional governance solutions in solving a collective action problem associated with pooling distributed knowledge and other resources in order to discover the value of a new technology.

Keywords: innovation, transactions costs, coordination problem, collective action, institutions, governance

JEL Classification: B15, B52, D02, D21, D71, D8, E14, H2, H42, L1, L5, O3, P1, P5

Suggested Citation

Potts, Jason, What Is the Innovation Problem? (September 22, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2842080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2842080

Jason Potts (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

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