Productivity of Invention
Leadership in Science and Technology: A Reference Handbook
Sage Publications, Los Angeles
Innovation underpins the industrial way of life. It is assumed implicitly both that it will continue to do so, and that it will produce solutions to the problems we face involving climate and resources. These assumptions underlie the thinking of many economists and the political leaders whom they influence. Such a view assumes that innovation in the future will be as productive as it has been in the recent past. To test whether this is likely to be so, we investigate the productivity of innovation in the United States using data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The results suggest that the conventional optimistic view may be unwarranted.
Lobo, J. J. A. Tainter, and D. Strumsky. Productivity of Invention. In Leadership in Science and Technology: A Reference Handbook, edited by William Sims Bainbridge, pp. 289-297. Sage Publications, Los Angeles.