“What laws govern the growth of man's mastery over nature?” asked the late economist Jacob Schmookler in his landmark 1966 book Invention and Economic Growth. Almost four decades after Schmookler stirred interest in the subject, understanding the link between economics and technology remains an important challenge. Michael Schrage, in the December 2004 issue of MIT's Technology Review, asserted, “The dominant global issue of our time is the accelerating diffusion of innovation.”

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