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Humanities and Social Sciences Colloquium - Riccardo Leoncini (Economics)


Innovation and inequality

Prof. Dr. Riccardo Leoncini
Alma Mater University Bologna
External Senior Fellow

When Jan 25, 2016
from 12:15 PM to 01:45 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97362
Attendees universitätsoffen / open to university members
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The last century witnessed the highest rate of technological progress in history, which is responsible for the structural dynamics of the economies. In turn, while rewarding those who can take advantage of it, technological change is one of the main elements determining the patterns of income distribution.


Technological change has both a positive and a negative impact on inequality. As Schumpeter first noted, innovative activity results in waves of creative destruction, which creates new monopolies due to the innovator’s breakthroughs and, at the same time, also creates incentives for waves of imitators that will erode the innovators’ rents.


The main characteristics of innovative activity that will be discussed in the talk are the following: innovation is based on ‘immaterial’ flows of knowledge that spill over to the whole economy, and the main element determining the rate and direction of technological learning in the economy is the institutional set-up.