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Atanasoff’s invention input and early computing state of knowledge

Philippe Rouchy ()

No 2014/07, Working Papers from Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Industrial Economics

Abstract: This article investigates the dynamic relationship between a single pursue of an invention and the general US supply of similar activities in early computing during the 1930-1946 period. The objective is to illustrate how an early scientific state of knowledge affects the efficiency with which an theoretical effort is transformed into an invention. In computing, a main challenge in the pre-industrial phase of invention concerns the lack of or scattered demand for such ground-breaking inventions. I present historiographical evidences of the early stage of US computing providing an improved understanding of the dynamics of the supply of invention. It involves solving the alignment between a single inventor’s incentives to research with the suppliers of technology. This step conditions the constitution of a stock of technical knowledge, and its serendipitous but purposeful organisation.

Keywords: invention input; computing; technological change (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B25 L63 N12 O14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 39 pages
Date: 2014-06-23
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-ino
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