Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 77–93 | Cite as

Knowledge, consumption, and endogenous growth

  • Richard N. Langlois
Special Issue


In neoclassical theory, knowledge generates increasing returns – and therefore growth – because it is a public good that can be costlessly reused once created. In fact, however, much knowledge in the economy is actually tacit and not easily transmitted –and thus not an obvious source of increasing returns. Several writers have responded to this alarming circumstances by affirming hopefully that knowledge today is increasingly codified, general, and abstract – and increasingly less tacit. This paper disputes such a trend. But all is not lost: for knowledge does not have to be codified to be reused and therefore to generate economic growth.

Key words: Tacit knowledge – Increasing returns – Growth theory – Knowledge reuse – Codification 
JEL-classification: O3, O4 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard N. Langlois
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics, The University of Connecticut, U63, Storrs, CT 06269-1063, USA (e-mail:; langlois/) US

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