Innovation Economics


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The Race for Global Advantage

Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell

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Why America no longer leads the world in innovation, why we should be concerned, and what must be done about it

This important book delivers a critical wake-up call: a fierce global race for innovation advantage is under way, and while other nations are making support for technology and innovation a central tenet of their economic strategies and policies, America lacks a robust innovation policy. What does this portend? Robert Atkinson and Stephen Ezell, widely respected economic thinkers, report on profound new forces that are shaping the global economy—forces that favor nations with innovation-based economies and innovation policies. Unless the United States enacts public policies to reflect this reality, Americans face the relatively lower standards of living associated with a noncompetitive national economy.

The authors explore how a weak innovation economy not only contributed to the Great Recession but is delaying America's recovery from it and how innovation in the United States compares with that in other developed and developing nations. Atkinson and Ezell then lay out a detailed, pragmatic road map for America to regain its global innovation advantage by 2020, as well as maximize the global supply of innovation and promote sustainable globalization.

Robert D. Atkinson is president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and one of the world’s foremost thinkers on innovation economics.
Stephen J. Ezell is senior analyst at ITIF.

"For those of us who believe America's brightest days are ahead of us, Atkinson and Ezell offer important insights about how we can insure that innovation is at the core of our country's progress."—Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware

“Rob Atkinson and Stephen Ezell present a compelling analysis of the causes of America’s long-term structural decline, providing a very readable account of the decline in our innovation advantage.  They lay out an important agenda for learning from what other countries have done, and overcoming our barriers to making our innovation system more robust and globally competitive.”—Willy C. Shih, Harvard Business School

“It was rousing to read Innovation Economics. The authors have built a thorough and extensive understanding of the wide nature and spectrum of innovation as well as of reasons why the U.S. and all nations have so many challenges to run successful innovation policy. The list of eight “I’s” is an excellent summation of the broad areas that are crucial for successful innovation policy. I really enjoyed becoming familiar with the in-depth study and argumentation by the authors, and fully agreed with them.”—Dr. Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara, CEO, Tekes – Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation

"Atkinson and Ezell provide the definitive guide to innovation and its impact on economic prosperity. If you care about innovation, you need to read this book."—Justin Rattner, Chief Technology Officer, Intel Corporation

"In today's highly competitive global economy, innovation matters more than ever to a country's standard of living. But as Atkinson and Ezell so persuasively argue, this is a race in which the US is falling behind.  Even more concerning, they draw striking parallels to other countries that have followed similar paths.  This book challenges many myths about the US's long-term competitive situation, and offers important suggestions for how to reverse course. With Innovation Economics,  Atkinson and Ezell have sounded an important wake up call."—Gary Pisano, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"Innovation Economics offers a frank assessment of many of the underlying causes of our economic challenges and helps explain why recovery has remained so elusive. Rob Atkinson and Stephen Ezell have collaborated on a timely call to action: America can compete and win the global economic race, but only if we change our mindset and update many of our policies.”—Senator Mark Warner (D, VA)

“Innovation Economics” is a valuable book. The authors are right to warn that America’s leadership in several areas has eroded much more rapidly than most Americans think. They are right to argue that classical economists are often blind to the fact that innovation is the product of ecosystems rather than individual companies and that ecosystems are fragile. They are also right to worry that “innovation mercantilism” can be much more harmful to its targets than traditional mercantilism: even if it doesn’t benefit the sinner in the long run it can seriously damage the sinned against.”—Business Books Quarterly Review, The Economist

“Yet why should government support for scientific research and technology development be spared from the belt-tightening? Unless society benefits inordinately from such spending, there is no case for special treatment. In a new book, Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale University Press), Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell forcefully present the argument for the exceptional role that science and technology play in the economy. In their book, Mr. Atkinson and Mr. Ezell define innovation as not only the generation of new ideas but also as their adoption in new products, processes, services and organizational models. In their view, the goal of policy should be to invest in and nurture the development of the innovation pipeline, from basic science to commercialization. A linchpin of innovation policy, according to Mr. Atkinson, is collaboration between government and industry.” —Steve Lohr, The New York Times
ISBN: 9780300205657
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
440 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
15 b/w illus.