Collective invention during the British industrial revolution : the case of the Cornish pumping engine

A. Nuvolari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

169 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper argues that what Robert Allen has termed collective invention settings (that is, settings in which competing firms share technological knowledge) were a crucial source of innovation during the early phases of industrialisation. Until now this has been very little considered in the literature, which has focused on the patent system as the main institutional arrangement driving the rate of innovation. The paper presents one of these collective invention settings, the Cornish mining district, in detail. It studies the specific economic and technical circumstances that led to the emergence of this collective invention setting and analyses its consequences on the rate of technological innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-363
JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Collective invention during the British industrial revolution : the case of the Cornish pumping engine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this