IPL Speaker Series

Inventing Modern Invention: The Professionalization of Technological Progress in the US

February 22, 2024 | 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Innovation Policy Lab

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This event will take place in the Boardroom at the Observatory, Munk School of Global Affairs & Oublic Policy, 315 Bloor Street W., Toronto, ON.
Using historical records on the universe of inventors and research laboratories, matched to decennial census records between 1850 and 1940, we study how US invention evolved from its early roots in craftsmanship to today's science-based endeavor. We show that the 1920s are the start of a period in which innovation accelerates and in which the US innovation system undergoes a profound transformation. This transformation stretches from the micro-level to the macro-level, with marked changes visible in the individual characteristics of inventors, the prevalence of teamwork, the ways in which these teams are coordinated and in the geography of US invention.
About The Speaker
Frank Neffke leads the Science of Cities research program at the Complexity Science Hub Vienna (CSH). Before joining CSH, he served as the Research Director of the Growth Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research focuses on economic transformation and growth. He has written on a variety of topics, such as structural transformation and new growth paths in regional economies, economic complexity, division of labor and teams, the consequences of job displacement and the future of work.  
Innovation Policy Lab


Headshot of Frank Neffke
Frank Neffke

Complexity Science Hub Vienna (CSH)