Manual A Theory of Knowledge Growth

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If knowledge and education are rival goods, then they cannot be diffused. So these economics folk felt compelled to prove they are non rival goods.


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Frankly, the Curmudgeon would have conceded the point just to shut these fools up. No one asked him. Romer classifies education, skills training and knowledge including intellectual capital as non rival goods which can diffuse from sector to sector, company to company and therefore become the catalyst for innovation and change.

Since knowledge, skills-training, and education fall into the province of government policy. Government therefore, should foster an environment in which education and knowledge are diffused throughout society and the economy. This diffusion of knowledge when combined with a governmental regulatory environment that protects diffusion by inhibiting the lock in effects of monopoly capitalism, leads to the conclusion that government can actually create, or at least significantly encourage, innovation and technological change.

The agents of innovation and technological change are entrepreneurs and knowledge diffusers schools, higher education, workforce training. A reaction from the Two Neo mainstream is now on the menu.

Mind, Society, and the Growth of Knowledge*

In essence, the Two Neos were not so quick to define all these sectors as non rival and allow government to be such an active player in the economy. Why you may ask was Romer not sensitive to the disruption he started? Quoting Warsh,. He was reading not Chamberlain and Schumpeter, but Rockafellar, the mathematician, whose book Convex Analysis under-girt is that a word? And his math was moving him toward a break with the Two Neos. The great mass of economists in the economic profession had no idea growth economists even existed. Growth and Innovation economics into the nineties was only an isolated group of a few young mathematically inclined economists actually they were more mathematicians whose ruminations were unknown to most all other economists.

How could this be? How could something this important and transformative be relegated to a back room, decade long, intermittent set of articles read by a handful of economists? They are not for the most part in narrative form, but instead are pages of elaborately developed, complex equations, based on the very sophisticated, and extremely advanced, non convex lost already? Dixit-Stieglitz model. Read the featured text on your right or where ever HTML finally puts it and this is a typical Lucas conversation.

Suppose there are N workers in total, with skill levels h, ranging from 0 to infinity. Suppose a worker with skill h devotes a fraction of u h of his non-leisure time to current production and the remaining I-u h to human capital accumulation. Now the reader has read the featured text she can now understand how skills diffuse????

Irony aside a model based on knowledge diffusion had not diffused throughout the profession—apparently it was a rival good?

To most economists, the math and modeling based growth economics did not seem to challenge the Two Neos, but instead were either plug ins or playgrounds available to any economist who could decipher the equations to expand research beyond the customary parameters of the Two Neos. Mankiw, as does Warsh, begins by complimenting innovation economics for its elegant modeling explanation of the obvious.

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

A great deal of what Krugman and Romer had written in math was, to Mankiw, already part and parcel of conventional economic mainstream thought. Why do some nations either choose or simply do not benefit from easily accessible knowledge and technology? Knowledge diffusion already exists and there is no growth machine. Neither, Mankiw boldly goes in another direction. No, Mankiw states knowledge is NOT a non rival good. Trade secrets, proprietary knowledge, the presence and absence of technological know how and the sticky transferability of intellectual property itself mean education and innovation are rival goods.

They are consumable by only one consumer. Instead, Mankiw asserted the missing ingredients for growth were entrepreneurs who given a favorable environment seize upon knowledge and technology to earn a profit and a fortune. The key to economic growth was the unrestrained ability of entrepreneurs to creatively push their proprietary knowledge to the highest limits creating more and more consumer demand.

Mankiw, in effect, anticipated Steve Jobs and Apple by about fifteen years. It was the job of entrepreneurs to bring about creative destruction, not government. Mankiw asserted the missing ingredients for growth were entrepreneurs who given a favorable environment will grab available knowledge and technology to earn a profit and a fortune. Mankiw said nothing that dissuaded the growth economists, and he abandoned his fight with them and left Harvard to become George W.

He has since returned to Harvard to replace Martin Feldstein, and is presently an advisor to Mitt Romney. Shortly after the reaction in the nineties both Romer and Krugman left academia and no longer pursue innovation economic research. They both pursued different non-academic careers. So what was the impact of all this growth economist blather within the economist profession? The Curmudgeon would add that in fact mainstream Two Neo economists did not depreciate either technology or human capital, or knowledge diffusion et al, but were more lacking a way to assess its impact on economic growth.

Theories of Knowledge

To the extent anyone appreciated it, growth economics provided a rationale and offered substantial modeling and mathematical support to these factors. These were things government was already doing. And mainstream Two Neo economists do not see government as all that effective and as a mechanism for a permanent growth machine. As to Innovation itself?

Theory of Knowledge by Bertrand Russell

Meta ideas support the production and transmission of other ideas. Warsh, P. No, NO! Seriously, knowing where all this stuff came from should help you evaluate its merit and understand its limitations. Of course, that is what bubbles are built on. The real answer, he thinks in the bottom of his heart, is Schumpeter back in Hold onto your cluster and enter into perpetual economic growth.

Is there an ultimate Theory of Knowledge?

Economic Developers it is your job to manage creative destruction. Once Romer and Krugman wandered away, the sub-field attracted a new life of its own. There are more narrative pieces in the economics literature, but math and modeling are still very prominent. But whoever the Gods are, an excellent second take away is for each of us to develop a thoughtful reflection as to whether Innovation Economics is a turning of the page away from capitalist economics. Whoa, slow down Curmudgeon! We construct the balanced growth path for this economy, thereby obtaining a theory of endogenous growth that captures in a tractable way the social nature of knowledge creation.

We also study the allocation chosen by an idealized planner who takes into account and internalizes the external benefits of search, and tax structures that implement an optimal solution. Finally, we provide two examples of alternative learning technologies, as concrete illustrations of other directions that might be pursued. Published: Robert E. Lucas Jr. Lucas, Jr. Development of the American Economy. For example, the essay may ask students to discuss the claim that the methodologies used to produce knowledge depend on the use to which that knowledge will be used.

TOK aims to make students aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases — whether these biases are retained, revised or rejected. TOK also provides coherence for the student, by linking academic subject areas as well as transcending them. It therefore demonstrates the ways in which the student can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility. Tweet Email. We use cookies on this site.