Giovanni Dosi, Richard Nelson

The Nature of Technology and the Processes of Technological Innovation

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This contribution reviews and integrates much of what has been learned on the processes of technological evolution, their main features, and their effects on the evolution of industries. We map and integrate the various pieces of evidence concerning the nature and structure of technological knowledge, the sources of novel opportunities, the dynamics through which they are tapped, and the revealed outcomes in terms of advances in production techniques and product characteristics. Explicit recognition of the evolutionary manners through which technological change proceeds has also profound implications for the way economists theorize about and analyze a number of topics central to the discipline.

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