Alex Tabarrok is an economics professor at George Mason University. He is also the research director for The Independent Institute and a research fellow with the Mercatus Center and the author or editor of a number of books including the introductory economics textbooks, "Modern Principles." He blogs regularly at marginalrevolution.com
Launching The Innovation Renaissance: A New Path to Bring Smart Ideas to Market Fastby Alex Tabarrok
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Unemployment, fear, and fitful growth tell us that the economy is stagnating. The recession, however, is just the tip of iceberg. We have deeper problems. Most importantly, the rate of innovation is down. Patents, which were designed to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, have instead become weapons in a war for competitive advantage with innovation as collateral damage. College, once a foundation for innovation, has been oversold. We have more students in college than ever before, for example, but fewer science majors. Regulations, passed with the best of intentions, have spread like kudzu and now impede progress to everyone's detriment. "Launching the Innovation Renaissance" is a fast-paced look at the levers of innovation policy that explains why innovation has slowed and how we can accelerate innovation and quickly build a 21st-century economy.
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I think that I must spend too much time with the blogs written by Tabarrok and his partners as I was disappointed in the scope to the book. Many of the topics had been covered and discussed ad nauseum and I was hoping for more new material. However there is a reason I spend time with their blogs and this book does capture Tabarrok's ideas in one very accessible place. Anyone thinking about stimulating innovation, or about the current apparent slowdown should start here. You will know where and how to look at institutions that will continue to innovate and those that will collapse it.