NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Algorithms and the Changing Frontier

Hezekiah Agwara, Philip Auerswald, Brian Higginbotham


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy, Adam Jaffe and Benjamin Jones, editors
Conference held August 2-3, 2013
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press

The notion of the “frontier” has changed from being a geographical one, to one that delineates the pursuit and production of scientific knowledge. We first summarize the dominant interpretations of the “frontier” in the United States and predecessor colonies over the past 400 years: agricultural (1610s-1880s), industrial (1890s-1930s), scientific (1940s-1980s), and algorithmic (1990s-present). We describe the difference between the algorithmic frontier and the scientific frontier. We then propose that the recent phenomenon referred to as “globalization” is actually better understood as the progression of the algorithmic frontier, as enabled by standards that in turn have facilitated the interoperability of firm-level production algorithms. We conclude by describing implications of the advance of the algorithmic frontier for scientific discovery and technological innovation.

download in pdf format
   (741 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (741 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w20039, Algorithms and the Changing Frontier, Hezekiah Agwara, Philip Auerswald, Brian Higginbotham
Commentary on this chapter: Comment, Timothy Simcoe
Users who downloaded this chapter also downloaded these:
Jaffe and Jones Introduction to "The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy"
Forman, Goldfarb, and Greenstein Information Technology and the Distribution of Inventive Activity
Simcoe Comment on "Algorithms and the Changing Frontier"
Agrawal, McHale, and Oettl Collaboration, Stars, and the Changing Organization of Science: Evidence from Evolutionary Biology
Feldman and Lanahan State Science Policy Experiments
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us