Jacob Schmookler

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Jacob Schmookler[1]
Born 1917 (1917)
New Jersey
United States[1]
Died 1967 (1968) [1]
Nationality United States[1]
Institutions Professor of Economics Minnesota University (1957-67)
Instructor Pennsylvania University (1946-51)
Assistant Professor Michigan State University (1951-57)[1]
Alma mater BA Temple University (1940)
PhD Pennsylvania University (1951)[1]
Made contributions to the demand-induced technological innovation and the logic of inter-industry technology flows.[1]

Jacob Schmookler was the first economist successfully to explore statistically the economics of technological innovation at a detailed industry level.[1] He crystallized the notion of endogenous technological change and its influence on economic growth two decades before the concept was reinvented by macro economists.[1] Most of his key findings are brought together in his 1966 book.[1] The underlying data and an extension of work in progress at the time of his death are in a 1972 book.[1]

Before Schmookler made his contributions, the conventional wisdom in economics was that technological innovations were supply-side driven, for example, as advances in knowledge opened up new opportunities for profitable invention and innovation.[1] Through the extensive analysis of time series and cross-sectional patent data and historical case studies, Schmookler demonstrated that demand-pull influences were also important: the more intense the demand, the more creative groups and individuals were drawn to work on an unsolved problem and more patentable inventions they generated.[1]

Struggling during the early 1960s to reconcile the conflicting knowledge-push and demand-pull hypothesis, Schmookler argued that both could be important, just as (following to Alfred Marshall) it takes two blades of a scissors to cut a paper.[1] He hypothesized that superior command over relevant areas of knowledge, for example, specialization in chemistry, electronics, or machine construction determined the industry locus of work to satisfy unmet demands; the demand itself might be found in a quite different industry.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Jong, Henry W. De; William G. Shepherd (2007). Pioneers of Industrial Organization: How the Economics of Competition and Monopoly Took Shape. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 259. ISBN 1-84376-434-2.