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As invention in the US shifted from craftsmanship to a science-based activity in the early 20th century, profound changes happened in the production of knowledge. Using historical records on the universe of inventors, and research laboratories, matched to decennial census records between 1850 and 1940, we find that as inventions start becoming more complex (combining more technologies) and innovative (using increasingly newer technologies), they reflect qualitative shifts in how individuals, teams and geography produce knowledge that persist until today.

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.

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