The Dynamics of Collective Invention

R. Cowan*, N. Jonard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper models the phenomenon of collective invention as it exists when the disclosure of information among competing entities creates a positive feedback that allows for high innovation rates and fast knowledge accumulation. Develop a formal model that accounts for the dynamics of knowledge and collective invention and examining how the architecture of the network of agents influences patterns and rate of innovation, we find that the communication network structure has a strong influence on system performance. The small world structure is an efficient architecture when absorption capacities are low, while large absorbing capacities, by contrast, emphasise the value of short path length.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-532
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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