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Public Choice

, Volume 170, Issue 3–4, pp 327–329 | Cite as

Mark Zachary Taylor, The politics of innovation: why some countries are better than others at science and technology

Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2016. 444 pp. USD 27.95 (paper)
  • Per L. Bylund
Book Review

In The Politics of Innovation: Why Some Countries Are Better Than Others at Science & Technology, Mark Zachary Taylor sets out to explain why some countries are better at innovating in science and technology (S&T). As identified in Cardwell’s Law, named after historian Donald Cardwell, there are differences between national innovation rates that are not easily explained. According to Taylor, we have yet to find a satisfactory explanation for this “stubborn mystery” of Cardwell’s Law. Part of the reason is that the research literature tends to use “confusing and overlapping terms and data,” that scholars “conflate how nations innovate with why they do so,” and that they have too much confidence in institutional explanations (pp. 4–5).

The book consequently aims to provide an explanation for S&T innovation that goes beyond the present state of this literature and avoids these problems. As the publisher puts it, Taylor “Directly challenges the dominant theory that institutions are the...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Entrepreneurship, Spears School of BusinessOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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