Nurturing the Accumulation of Innovations: Lessons from the Internet
NBER Working Paper No. 15905
The innovations that became the foundation for the Internet originate from two eras that illustrate two distinct models for accumulating innovations over the long haul. The pre-commercial era illustrates the operation of several useful non-market institutional arrangements. It also illustrates a potential drawback to government sponsorship - in this instance, truncation of exploratory activity. The commercial era illustrates a rather different set of lessons. It highlights the extraordinary power of market-oriented and widely distributed investment and adoption, which illustrates the power of market experimentation to foster innovative activity. It also illustrates a few of the conditions necessary to unleash value creation from such accumulated lessons, such as standards development and competition, and nurturing legal and regulatory policies.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15905
Published: Shane Greenstein, 2009. "Nurturing the Accumulation of Innovations: Lessons from the Internet," NBER Chapters, in: Accelerating Innovation in Energy: Insights from Multiple Sectors National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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