ECON 336

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Economics of Science, Technology, and Innovation

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This course provides an economist?s introduction to the study of scientific, inventive and technological activities.  The overarching focus is on understanding the microeconomic foundations of the knowledge production function and the determinants of innovation and technical change. We will begin with a brief historical overview of institutions supporting science and innovation and an introduction to the economic analysis of knowledge and ideas.  Other topics include: incentive mechanisms such as prizes and intellectual property (patents), diffusion of ideas and technology, models of cumulative innovation, private and public funding for R&D, scientific and university-industry collaboration, diversity and career choices among STEAM workers, and innovation in emerging economies. The course will emphasize gaining real world knowledge about these issues and motivate economic concepts covered in a variety of ways, such as through publicly available datasets, news articles, group debates, case studies, and guest speakers.



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