New Research on Technological Innovation

Research Round-Up: March 11, 2019

Technological Innovation and Economic Growth

James Broughel and Adam Thierer | Research Paper

From the abstract: "Technological innovation is a fundamental driver of economic growth and human progress. Yet some critics want to deny the vast benefits that innovation has bestowed and continues to bestow on mankind. To inform policy discussions and address the technology critics’ concerns, this paper summarizes relevant literature documenting the impact of technological innovation on economic growth and, more broadly, on living standards and human well-being. The historical record is unambiguous regarding how ongoing innovation has improved the way we live; however, the short-term disruptive aspects of technological change are real and deserve attention as well. The paper concludes with an extended discussion about the relevance of these findings for shaping cultural attitudes toward technology and the role that public policy can play in fostering innovation, growth, and ongoing improvements in the quality of life of citizens.”

The Freedom to Innovate and Eliminating Barriers for More Innovators

Jennifer Huddleston | Congressional Testimony

From the testimony: "To foster diversity in technology, America should encourage the next generation to embrace the freedom to innovate; instead, however, young people often face many government barriers that could discourage them from innovating. “Evasive” entrepreneurs behind products many consumers have rapidly embraced, such as ridesharing, homesharing, and dockless scooters, have found themselves faced with costly lawsuits, cease and desist orders, and governments attempting to shoehorn them into existing regulatory schemes. Such efforts prevent innovative alternatives from replacing existing incumbents and limit choices to consumers. Even children may find their lawnmowing business or lemonade stands closed down for failing to comply with licensing requirements. Rather than teaching all children to embrace their entrepreneurial passions and innovate, such requirements instead discourage them by requiring burdensome permission first.”