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Innovation CommonsThe Origin of Economic Growth$
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Jason Potts

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190937492

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190937492.001.0001

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Innovation Is a Knowledge Problem

Innovation Is a Knowledge Problem

(p.57) 3 Innovation Is a Knowledge Problem
Innovation Commons

Jason Potts

Oxford University Press

This chapter furnishes a new theoretical foundation for thinking about the economics of innovation and the innovation problem as a knowledge problem, and a collective action problem, and therefore a governance problem. The theory of the innovation commons is therefore based in new institutional economics. It builds on the analytic frameworks of four key theorists: Deirdre McCloskey on the moral and cultural foundations under which innovation can occur as an evolutionary social process; Friedrich Hayek on “use of knowledge in society,” on cultural evolution, on the ideas of both distributed knowledge and group selection; Oliver Williamson on the coordination problem of idiosyncratic investment under uncertainty and the hazards that contains; and Elinor Ostrom, who resolves the Hayek and Williamson knowledge conditions with a general solution to the collective action problem of knowledge discovery by pooling knowledge through institutional evolution.

Keywords:   new institutional economics, collective action, knowledge problem, cooperation, cultural group selection

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