100 books like The Economics of Innovation

By G. M. Peter Swann,

Here are 100 books that The Economics of Innovation fans have personally recommended if you like The Economics of Innovation. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Handbook of the Economics of Innovation: Volume 1

Paul Stoneman Author Of The Microeconomics of Product Innovation

From my list on the study of the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I began my doctorate many years ago I was somewhat disenchanted with the static nature of much economic analysis whereas it was apparent that the world is very much dynamic and continually changing. I thus committed myself then, and in a long career that followed, to exploring the ways in which Economics could be used to clarify and address the major issues that arise from innovation generation and diffusion. I present these choices as a way that other like-minded individuals may begin the exploration of innovation and discover the breadth and depth of the contribution that has been made by economists.

Paul's book list on the study of the economics of innovation

Paul Stoneman Why did Paul love this book?

This is the first volume of a two-volume, tour de force, which jointly offers 29 specially written papers by major contributors to the field that broadly explore the genesis of technological change and the ways it is commercialized and diffused.

It is an invaluable source of literature surveys of the many different areas covered within the definition of the economics of innovation and also provides predictions of fruitful research directions.

Having myself edited a Handbook some years earlier I know both the time and effort involved but also the extent of knowledge dissemination that a book such as this can provide.

By Bronwyn H. Hall (editor), Nathan Rosenberg (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Handbook of the Economics of Innovation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Economists examine the genesis of technological change and the ways we commercialize and diffuse it. The economics of property rights and patents, in addition to industry applications, are also surveyed through literature reviews and predictions about fruitful research directions.

Two volumes, available as a set or sold separately


Book cover of An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change

Paul Stoneman Author Of The Microeconomics of Product Innovation

From my list on the study of the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I began my doctorate many years ago I was somewhat disenchanted with the static nature of much economic analysis whereas it was apparent that the world is very much dynamic and continually changing. I thus committed myself then, and in a long career that followed, to exploring the ways in which Economics could be used to clarify and address the major issues that arise from innovation generation and diffusion. I present these choices as a way that other like-minded individuals may begin the exploration of innovation and discover the breadth and depth of the contribution that has been made by economists.

Paul's book list on the study of the economics of innovation

Paul Stoneman Why did Paul love this book?

This book provides the foundations for the evolutionary approach to the analysis of innovation and technological change.

In doing so it represents a serious attack on the dominant neoclassical approach to economic analysis, raising significant objections to assumptions of profit maximization and market equilibrium, instead borrowing the concept of natural selection to construct a detailed evolutionary theory of business behaviour.

It is probably in the field of innovation that evolutionary economics has its greatest presence. As a mainly neoclassical scholar myself I value this alternative paradigm both as a challenge and a valuable alternative viewpoint.

By Richard R. Nelson, Sidney G. Winter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book contains the most sustained and serious attack on mainstream, neoclassical economics in more than forty years. Richard R. Nelson and Sidney G. Winter focus their critique on the basic question of how firms and industries change overtime. They marshal significant objections to the fundamental neoclassical assumptions of profit maximization and market equilibrium, which they find ineffective in the analysis of technological innovation and the dynamics of competition among firms.

To replace these assumptions, they borrow from biology the concept of natural selection to construct a precise and detailed evolutionary theory of business behavior. They grant that films are…


Book cover of Oslo Manual 2018: Guidelines for Collecting, Reporting and Using Data on Innovation

Paul Stoneman Author Of The Microeconomics of Product Innovation

From my list on the study of the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I began my doctorate many years ago I was somewhat disenchanted with the static nature of much economic analysis whereas it was apparent that the world is very much dynamic and continually changing. I thus committed myself then, and in a long career that followed, to exploring the ways in which Economics could be used to clarify and address the major issues that arise from innovation generation and diffusion. I present these choices as a way that other like-minded individuals may begin the exploration of innovation and discover the breadth and depth of the contribution that has been made by economists.

Paul's book list on the study of the economics of innovation

Paul Stoneman Why did Paul love this book?

This manual provides an internationally agreed set of definitions of, and measurements for, different innovative activities and as such provides widely accepted guidelines by which internationally comparative data can be collected and government policies be targeted.

This may seem rather dry, but I think that it is crucial to the development of a subject area that all parties involved are using the same definitions of variables.

This has become of particular importance for many aspects of innovation have become the concerns of politicians and policymakers and past discussions have made me aware that parties more often than would wish are talking at cross purposes, using the same terms for different concepts.

By Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Eurostat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oslo Manual 2018 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is innovation and how should it be measured? Understanding the scale of innovation activities, the characteristics of innovative firms and the internal and systemic factors that can influence innovation is a prerequisite for the pursuit and analysis of policies aimed at fostering innovation. First published in 1992, the Oslo Manual is the international reference guide for collecting and using data on innovation. In this fourth edition, the manual has been updated to take into account a broader range of innovation-related phenomena as well as the experience gained from recent rounds of innovation surveys in OECD countries and partner economies…


Book cover of The Theory of Economic Development

David Emanuel Andersson Author Of Property Rights, Consumption and the Market Process

From my list on understanding how societies develop.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been curious about why societies develop, which is why I was drawn to the social sciences as a student. I first encountered attempts to explain development in economics, but found that mainstream models were too neat and abstract to account for my everyday observations. Why are there no entrepreneurs in the models, and why do most economists assume that property rights are unambiguous? I eventually discovered that non-mainstream economic theories and some of the other social sciences are more concerned with reality. Eventually I developed an eclectic framework with a focus on entrepreneurship, institutions, and spatial agglomerations as factors that shape socio-economic development. 

David's book list on understanding how societies develop

David Emanuel Andersson Why did David love this book?

This is the first book I read about the role of entrepreneurs in the economy. I have mixed feelings about it.

It’s filled with insights but it is also deeply flawed. Entrepreneurs drive economic development and engage in “creative destruction.” The market is about change rather than equilibrium. These are both great insights.

But history has refuted Schumpeter’s Nietzschean view that entrepreneurship is confined to “captains of industry” with unusual personality traits, and his attempts to explain business cycles is unpersuasive.  

By Joseph A. Schumpeter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Theory of Economic Development as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950) is one of the most fascinating and influential economists of the twentieth century, renowned for his brilliant and unorthodox insights into the nature of capitalism. His students include leading economists such as Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow and the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan.

The Theory of Economic Development is one of Schumpeter's most important books and the one that made him famous. He poses a fundamental question: why does economic development proceed cyclically rather than evenly? Turning prevailing economic theory, which approached economics as equilibrium, on its head, Schumpeter argues it is because economics…


Book cover of Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company

Rupert Scofield Author Of Default to Bold:  Anatomy of a Turnaround

From my list on learning how to survive as an entrepreneur.

Why am I passionate about this?

Rupert Scofield is the President & CEO of a global financial services empire spanning 20 countries of Latin America, Africa, Eurasia and the Middle East, serving millions of the world’s poorest families, especially women. Scofield has spent the better part of his life dodging revolutions, earthquakes and assassins in the Third World, and once ran for his life from a mob in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Rupert's book list on learning how to survive as an entrepreneur

Rupert Scofield Why did Rupert love this book?

This book is a guide to surviving an existential crisis – what Grove calls a Strategic Inflection Point – when your business is subjected to one or more of six external forces, which, if powerful enough, could destroy the business.  Some of them are obvious – competitors, regulators, customers, vendors – but others more esoteric, like “the possibility your business could be done a different way”, what today we would call being disrupted.  I read it in 2015, when the company I run, FINCA International, was facing five of these six forces, each of which clobbered us with a 10x force compared to the first three decades of our existence, when competition was weak and most external forces enabled our success. How does a CEO respond to this challenge?  Grove’s answer is summarized in the title: remain in a permanent state of dread, which to outsiders might appear on the…

By Andrew S. Grove,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Only the Paranoid Survive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The President and CEO of Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, reveals how to identify and exploit the key moments of change in any industry that generates either drastic failure or incredible success. Under Andrew Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest computer chipmaker, the 5th most admired company in America, and the 7th most profitable company among the Fortune 500. Few CEOs can claim this level of success. Grove attributes much of it to the philosophy and strategy he has learned the hard way as he steered Intel through a series of potential major disasters. There are moments in…


Book cover of Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World

Jonathan Rothwell Author Of A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society

From my list on why some people tend to be richer or poorer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Inequality and fairness are basic issues in human conflict and cooperation that have long fascinated me. Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, I was confronted with the extreme racial segregation of schools and neighborhoods. My Catholic upbringing taught me to cherish the cardinal virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance, and my education in political economy taught me that markets can fairly and efficiently allocate resources, when legal power is evenly shared. My formal education culminated in a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Princeton University, which led me to my current roles: Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Principal Economist at Gallup. I care deeply about the social conditions that create cooperation and conflict.

Jonathan's book list on why some people tend to be richer or poorer

Jonathan Rothwell Why did Jonathan love this book?

Can ideas change the world? How does belief in political equality—the idea that everyone deserves basic unbridgeable liberties—affect innovation and economic development?

Dierdre McCloskey—one of the most creative and interesting economists alive—takes on these topics and much more in her characteristically witty, fast-paced style. She loves describing and refuting bad ideas—or even ideas widely regarded as brilliant—in an effort to go deeper into the forces that lifted humans out of poverty and sustain innovation to this day.

By Deirdre Nansen McCloskey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bourgeois Equality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There's little doubt that most humans today are better off than their forebears. Stunningly so, the economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey argues in the concluding volume of her trilogy celebrating the oft-derided virtues of the bourgeoisie. The poorest of humanity, McCloskey shows, will soon be joining the comparative riches of Japan and Sweden and Botswana. Why? Most economists from Adam Smith and Karl Marx to Thomas Piketty say the Great Enrichment since 1800 came from accumulated capital. McCloskey disagrees, fiercely. "Our riches," she argues, "were made not by piling brick on brick, bank balance on bank balance, but by piling…


Book cover of Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth

Richard G. Lipsey Author Of Industrial Policy: The Coevolution of Public and Private Sources of Finance for Important Emerging and Evolving Technologies

From my list on how private and public sector enterprises.

Why am I passionate about this?

Over my lifetime I have been involved in myriad policy issues running from 1970s anti-inflation policies, through the creation of NAFTA in the 1980s, to dealing with climate change in the 2000s. My interest and that of my co-author in technological change and economic growth entailed involvement in innovation policy. We are particularly worried because many citizens have no realisation of the important part that public policy has played in technological changes. Ignorance of this is dangerous in that it may lead legislatures to inhibit the public sector’s future role in such developments without which we have a much-diminished chance of dealing with climate change and holding our own in international economic competition.

Richard's book list on how private and public sector enterprises

Richard G. Lipsey Why did Richard love this book?

While all the books listed earlier provide detailed, in-depth, case studies of public-private sector cooperation in developing selected new technologies, the last two chapters of this book provide necessarily brief coverages of the myriad ways in which this cooperation had been successfully manifested beyond encouraging specific technologies.

Although the book’s main purpose is to show how a series of important technologies have transformed economic, social, and political life over the millennia, the last two chapters show how knowledge of these transformations sheds light on the wider use of public policy to achieve economic goals.

While many public initiatives have succeeded, others have failed. The authors isolate the reasons for these successes and failures and offer their template for designing and administering policies that are more likely to succeed than fail.

By Richard G. Lipsey, Kenneth I. Carlaw, Clifford T. Bekar

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Economic Transformations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book examines the long term economic growth that has raised the West's material living standards to levels undreamed of by counterparts in any previous time or place. The authors argue that this growth has been driven by technological revolutions that have periodically transformed the West's economic, social and political landscape over the last 10,000 years and allowed the West to become, until recently, the world's only dominant technological force.

Unique in the diversity of the analytical techniques used, the book begins with a discussion of the causes and consequences of economic growth and technological change. The authors argue that…


Book cover of The Inversion Factor: How to Thrive in the IoT Economy

Tim Vandehey Author Of Swipe: The Science Behind Why We Don't Finish What We Start

From my list on how technology is changing how we live.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a journalist and a tinkerer. I’m fascinated not only by how things work but by how small levers can move mountains. Growing up in the workshop of my grandfather, an old Boston boatwright, I was mesmerized by the idea that a small rudder could maneuver a huge vessel. In college, I fell in love with how a small idea or expression could redirect a course of research or a country. As a self-taught maker of things, I appreciate how technologies empower us. I’ve chosen these books because they’re examples of how small ideas become things, lines of research, or patterns of thinking that shift human progress in unknowable ways.

Tim's book list on how technology is changing how we live

Tim Vandehey Why did Tim love this book?

I recommend The Inversion Factor because it’s a deep dive into the Internet of Things from some of the people who made the IoT possible: the geniuses at MIT.

The book’s take on commerce alone is fascinating, the idea that in the future, demand will be driven not by companies deciding what to make and sell but by a flow of consumer data coming from connected devices telling companies, “Here’s what you need to make next.”

Plus, the descriptions of the IoT home and services, tempered though they are by realities like the fact that self-driving cars aren’t very good yet at not running people over, are gripping. Great book. 

By Linda Bernardi, Sanjay Sarma, Kenneth Traub

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Inversion Factor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why companies need to move away from a “product first” orientation to pursuing innovation based on customer need.

In the past, companies found success with a product-first orientation; they made a thing that did a thing. The Inversion Factor explains why the companies of today and tomorrow will have to abandon the product-first orientation. Rather than asking “How do the products we make meet customer needs?” companies should ask “How can technology help us reimagine and fill a need?” Zipcar, for example, instead of developing another vehicle for moving people from point A to point B, reimagined how people interacted…


Book cover of The New Geography of Jobs

Dietrich Vollrath Author Of Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success

From my list on the economic challenges of the 2020s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of economics at the University of Houston, with a focus on long-run growth and development rather than things like quarterly stock returns. I write a blog on growth economics where I try hard to boil down technical topics to their core intuition, and I’m the co-author of a popular textbook on economic growth.

Dietrich's book list on the economic challenges of the 2020s

Dietrich Vollrath Why did Dietrich love this book?

Moretti’s book is, I think, woefully underappreciated. He gives a clear portrait of different regions of the United States, classifying them on the basis of their current economic structure and not on a predetermined political split or on industrial classifications from fifty years ago. It shows that we are in the midst of a substantial economic transformation that likely rivals the shifts seen during the early industrial revolution. This book gives you a real sense of what a “knowledge economy” will look like. More than that, though, he shows how that transformation could be beneficial to everyone (but might not).

By Enrico Moretti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Geography of Jobs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The New Geography of Jobs, award-winning Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti looks at the major shifts taking place in the US economy and reveals the surprising winners and losers ​— ​specifically, which kinds of jobs will drive economic growth and where they’ll be located ​— ​while exploring how communities can transform themselves into dynamic innovation hubs.

“A timely and smart discussion of how different cities and regions have made a changing economy work for them ​— ​and how policymakers can learn from that to lift the circumstances of working Americans everywhere.” ​— ​Barack Obama

We’re used to thinking of the…


Book cover of The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Miya Knights Author Of Amazon: How the World's Most Relentless Retailer Will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce

From my list on for winning with the modern consumer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having managed to convert a passion for shopping and curiosity about digital technologies into a 25-year-long career as a journalist and publisher, and analyst and research director latterly, I’m lucky to have been able to bring my knowledge and experience to bear in advising retailers and their technology providers on strategy and best practice. So, it was a natural progression for me and my co-author to research and dissect their biggest disruptor, Amazon, as a subject for our own book. The books I’ve recommended here are some of those I felt really helped me understand the dynamics shaping today’s shopping experiences and their impact on the wider world we live in.

Miya's book list on for winning with the modern consumer

Miya Knights Why did Miya love this book?

Written by the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, this book is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand how the technological revolution will change our lives. It begins to unravel the seemingly irreconcilable differences between our insatiable appetite for convenience and consumption with equity and sustainability. 

By Klaus Schwab,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fourth Industrial Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'In this book, Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum contribute significantly to one of the most important issues of our time - how to move forward in the Fourth Industrial Revolution' Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group Holding, People's Republic of China

'It's no secret that technologies are reshaping the world's economies and societies. To manage the risks and spread the benefits, we have to act now, and in the interest of stakeholders everywhere' Andrew McAfee, Co-Founder, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, MIT, USA

We are on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And this one will…


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