Accumulation of Knowledge and Accumulation of Capital in Early ‘Theories’ of Growth and Development

Posted: 3 May 2010

See all articles by Renee Prendergast

Renee Prendergast

Queen's University Belfast; Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

This paper argues that prior to Adam Smith economic progress was largely conceived as being based on the accumulation of knowledge. The development by Turgot and Smith of a concept of capital that subsumed other factors contributing to development led their followers to focus on capital to the neglect of the independent role of knowledge. The paper demonstrates that this paradigmatic shift was identified and challenged by Bentham, Hodgskin and Rae who argued for the independent role of innovation but without lasting impact.

Keywords: Knowledge, Capital, Accumulation, Innovation

JEL Classification: B11, B12, O10, O30

Suggested Citation

Prendergast, Renee, Accumulation of Knowledge and Accumulation of Capital in Early ‘Theories’ of Growth and Development (2010). Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 413-431, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1599044 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cje/bep009

Renee Prendergast (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School ( email )

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom

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