Course 2009-2010 a.y.



Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 21
EMIT-LS (8 credits - I sem. - CC)
Course Director:

Classes: 21 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The course provides a survey of a wide range of topics in the economics of innovation and technical change. Topics to be discussed include: the relations among innovation, eco­nomic growth and economic development, the economics of patents and intellectual pro­perty rights, the role of innovation in the dynamics and evolution of industries, the rela­tionships between science and technology. The last part of the course discusses the role of public policies with respect to innovation and technical change.
Pre-requisites: basic courses on microeconomics and industrial organization.
The class format is a mix of lectures and discussions. Students are expected to partici­pate actively in the discussions, reading the assigned material for each topic before class.
Tutorials and seminars on the history of specific industries and technologies are organ­ized during the course.

Course Content Summary

Economics of innovation: overview

  • Technical change and economic growth
  • Technology and economic development
  • Microeconomics of innovation: theory and models

Economics of patents

  • Patent length, breadth and height
  • Strategic use of patents
  • IPR, licensing and antitrust

Economics of knowledge

  • Knowledge as a public good
  • Tacit and codified knowledge
  • Relationships among actors: science-technology links
  • Economics of scientific research

Innovation and market structure

  • Incentives to innovation
  • R&D and patent races
  • Innovation and industrial dynamics
  • R&D, firm size and entry of new firms
  • Strategic alliances and networks
  • Localisation and globalisation of R&D

Innovation diffusion and network externalities

  • Models of innovation diffusion
  • Competing technologies and network externalities
  • Economics of technological standards
  • Competition in the network industries

Public policies and the role of governments

  • Public policies supporting R&D and innovation diffusion
  • National research systems and public funding of R&D
  • Integration of national research systems: the European Research Area
  • Innovation, technological co-operation and competition policies

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

The exam consists of two written partial exams, which will take place during the course, and a written final exam.

The final mark is based on both partial exams and final exam and also on active participation in class.


A list of textbooks will be made available at the beginning of the course.

Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 26/03/2009 15:51