A Review of the Theoretical Context of the Role of Innovation in Economic Development
Authors: Maria E. Eggink
It is the aim of this paper to place the role of innovation in economic development in its theoretical context through a literature review. The review compares classical economic theory and the neoclassical theories of “equilibrium in the markets” and “perfectly competitive markets” with the Schumpeterian theory. It was found that Schumpeter’s role in contributing towards economic development theories, and by creating awareness of the role of innovation in these theories is of immeasurable importance. His contribution led to a change in economic thinking, although this was only realized much later than when his theories were first published. The neo-Schumpeterian thinking expanded on the Schumpeterian theory by studying innovation within a system of interaction among different role players. Studies on innovation should be founded in the neo-Schumpeterian school of thought in order to accommodate the complexity of the innovation system concept.
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