TIK9022 – Economics of Innovation

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Dowload course programme 2018 (updated 13.4.2018)

Dowload reading list 2018

The field of innovation studies largely originated because innovation was ignored by mainstream economics and, arguably, social science more generally. Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter was a key influence, both for economists trying to forge new and unconventional approaches to the understanding of the role of innovation in social and economic change, and  for management scholars trying to  address the same issue from the perspective of firms and managers. For example, the most important management thinker of the 20th century, Peter Drucker,  stated that “it is becoming increasingly clear that it is Schumpeter [unlike Keynes, Smith and others] who will shape the thinking and inform the questions on economic policy for the rest of this century, if not for the next thirty or fifty years.” In the economics of innovation perspective, innovation and related concepts such as technological change, entrepreneurship, and research and development are seen as key factors in economic development and main targets for policy.

This course will look more closely at the central aspects of the economics of innovation  at the micro, meso and  macro level.  What is the role of innovation for understanding differences in performance between firms, sectors and countries?  How can innovation activities be measured and  studied empirically? What are the factors that influence innovation? And how can policy contribute?

Learning outcome

The students will become acquainted with classic as well as more recent perspectives on the economics of innovation, with a particular emphasis on topics that are central on the research agenda today. They will also learn about relevant data and methods. The aim is that the course should be a useful input to the students’ own PhD work. The course will be designed as a combination of lectures, workshops and group discussions.

We do not assume that students are economists or have an intimate familiarity with economics. On the contrary, this course should constitute a good introduction to economic perspectives for innovation PhD students more broadly.


Admission to a PhD programme is required for participation in this course, preferably in one of the NORSI partner institutions. Other candidates can be accepted by application to the course coordinator.

Applicants are to submit

  • the application form
  • a short outline of their PhD project
  • a letter of confirmation regarding candidacy within a PhD programme.

Deadline: March 15th 2018.

Please submit your application via email to: lene.angelskar@tik.uio.no


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to a PhD programme is required for participation in this course, preferably in one of the NORSI partner institutions.


All students will be expected to read the course literature before attending. They will also be required to  participate actively in discussions and group work.

8 credit points correspond to 8 work weeks, which includes preparation, reading and writing of exam essay.

A detailed course plan will be made available for download.


A term paper of 15 to 20 pages is required in addition to active participation during the course week. Deadline for submission: August 15th 2018.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Facts about this course






Spring 2018

Course dates: April 16-20.


Spring 2018

Teaching language