Stop crying over spilt knowledge: a critical look at the theory of spillovers and technical change

View author details View Less
  • 1 University of Connecticut, , USA and IPEG, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, , South Africa
  • | 2 Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, , Australia
Full Access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

In this essay we analyze critically the idea of knowledge spillovers. We call into question much of the web of syllogism involved in both the microeconomic and aggregate versions of the theory. We certainly do not deny the reality of knowledge spillovers, or that they may be important under certain circumstances. But we do dispute the policy conclusions of the mainstream view of these matters by questioning the plausibility of the assumptions on which the conclusions are laid. Our criticisms fall into two broad categories. Our efforts, however, are not directed mainly towards intellectual (creative) destruction. We also make the affirmative case that spillovers can have a positive value for innovators and that a sensible economics of spillovers may be sought at the microeconomic level in the developing literature on strategic capabilities.

  • 1 University of Connecticut, , USA and IPEG, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, , South Africa
  • | 2 Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, , Australia

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 5 5 5
PDF Downloads 2 2 2

Altmetrics

Dimensions