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Please join us for a research seminar by Anne Marie Knott, Robert and Barbara Frick Professor of Business, Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School, as she presents some of her most recent work. Professor Knott is visiting USC Price School this semester.


Title: The Innovation Cold-War With China


Abstract: For almost eight decades, the U.S. has been the world’s leading innovator. Most of the major innovations of the 20th century emanated from here. Similarly, the seven largest technology companies by market cap were founded in the here. However, the world is changing. U.S. R&D productivity has declined 65% since 1980. This is the reason the U.S. has been plagued with stagnant growth for decades. 


Many scholars believe this decline is inevitable, because we’ve used up all the good ideas. This acquiescence is not only unwarranted but is also potentially harmful, because China has geopolitical ambitions. China’s innovation supports both its economic and military ambitions, because, as in the U.S., the most powerful technologies tend to be dual-use: developed initially for military applications, then adapted for commercial applications, such as communications satellites, laser, and GPS. 


This book will argue that China is likely to achieve an innovation advantage over the U.S. in the near future, if both countries remain on their current courses. It will further argue that much of the Chinese advantage emerges from opposing perspectives on knowledge flows. Each of seven chapters will discuss a prevailing U.S. belief about innovation that stems from its “river” perspective. It will then present empirical evidence demonstrating why and how the belief is misleading, then show how it detrimentally affects U.S. innovation policy and ultimately the country’s innovation record. It will then compare the U.S. belief to the corresponding belief in China, as well as its policy and record. The final chapter will provide a summary of the innovative differences and offer policy prescriptions for regaining innovative advantage over China.


Please email Stacia Fewox at fewox@usc.edu to RSVP for the seminar & lunch.

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