The Free-Market Innovation Machine
Analyzing the Growth Miracle of Capitalism
By (author) William J. Baumol
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Free-Market Innovation Machine by William J. Baumol
Book DescriptionWhy has capitalism produced economic growth that so vastly dwarfs the growth record of other economic systems, past and present? Why have living standards in countries from America to Germany to Japan risen exponentially over the past century? William Baumol rejects the conventional view that capitalism benefits society through price competition--that is, products and services become less costly as firms vie for consumers. Where most others have seen this as the driving force behind growth, he sees something different--a compound of systematic innovation activity within the firm, an arms race in which no firm in an innovating industry dares to fall behind the others in new products and processes, and inter-firm collaboration in the creation and use of innovations. While giving price competition due credit, Baumol stresses that large firms use innovation as a prime competitive weapon. However, as he explains it, firms do not wish to risk too much innovation, because it is costly, and can be made obsolete by rival innovation. So firms have split the difference through the sale of technology licenses and participation in technology-sharing compacts that pay huge dividends to the economy as a whole--and thereby made innovation a routine feature of economic life. This process, in Baumol's view, accounts for the unparalleled growth of modern capitalist economies. Drawing on extensive research and years of consulting work for many large global firms, Baumol shows in this original work that the capitalist growth process, at least in societies where the rule of law prevails, comes far closer to the requirements of economic efficiency than is typically understood. Resounding with rare intellectual force, this book marks a milestone in the comprehension of the accomplishments of our free-market economic system--a new understanding that, suggests the author, promises to benefit many countries that lack the advantages of this immense innovation machine.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691116303
(229mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 22-Mar-2004
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author William J. Baumol
Cost Disease, Paperback (October 2013)
The exploding cost of health care in the United States is a source of widespread alarm. Similarly, the upward spiral of college tuition fees is cause for serious concern. In this book, the author explores the causes of these seemingly intractable problems and offers a surprisingly simple explanation.
Invention of Enterprise, Paperback (February 2012)
Whether hailed as heroes or cast as threats to social order, entrepreneurs - and their innovations - have had an enormous influence on the growth and prosperity of nations. This title gathers together economic historians to explore the entrepreneur's role in society from antiquity to the present.
Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship, Hardback (July 2010)
Entrepreneurs are widely recognized for the vital contributions they make to economic growth and general welfare. This title provides the framework for introducing entrepreneurship into mainstream microtheory and incorporating the activities of entrepreneurs, inventors, and managers into standard models of the firm.
Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity, Paperback (November 2009)» View all books by William J. Baumol
Identifies the conditions that characterise Good Capitalism: the right blend of entrepreneurial and established firms, which can vary among countries; as well as the features of Bad Capitalism. This book examines how countries catching up to the United States can move faster toward the economic frontier.
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Author Biography - William J. Baumol
William J. Baumol is Senior Research Economist and Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Princeton University and Professor of Economics at New York University. The author, coauthor, or editor of more than thirty books, with translations into more than a dozen languages, Baumol has consulted for some of America's best-known firms. His books include "Microeconomics", " Superfairness", and "Entrepreneurship, Management, and the Structure of Payoffs"; among the books he has coauthored is "Productivity and American Leadership".
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