Two questions for innovation unit

You must answer TWO of the following questions. Please note that, where two choices are available within a question, you cannot attempt both.


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Explain the connection between cost competition and technical change with reference to at least ONE of the following theories;


1: Marx’s labour theory of value

2: Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction.



What is “economic rent?” How does it differ from profit? Explain “technological rents” as an example of economic rents. Why are relatively enduring superprofits associated with innovation often referred to as “technical” rents?



  1. Why does James O’Connor argue that there is a relationship of mutual dependence between small, price competitive, labour intensive, low technology firms and sectors with large, highly mechanised or technically advanced corporations?


  1. Explain the distribution of economic power between franchisers, franchisees and workers employed in franchises. What is the basis of this power distribution?



Discuss the arguments for and against the strengthening of intellectual property rights. Which arguments, if any, do you most agree with and why?


QUESTION 5: Define the term, “the Precariat”. What groups in society tend to populate the “Precariat?’  What according to Standing and Peck/Theodore are the systemic functions of insecure employment and underemployment in advanced industrial economies?



On balance, does mechanization reduce the need of paid employment in the economy as whole? In your answer, indicate whether you agree with Martin Ford’s argument that the most recent wave of mechanization is likely to have employment effects that are different from the effects of mechanization in the past. Explain your response.




Discuss the key elements of work design which support the productivity and creativity of innovation/knowledge workers. How and why has “financialization” affected the practices and capacities of innovation/knowedge workers? In your answer, refer to “short-termism.”





Is the size and age of firms significant for the financing, creation, production and distribution of innovations? Explain your answer with reference to trends in innovation over the past decades.



Discuss the economic and/or social significance of a key innovation in contemporary financial  practice. Are there any advantages or disadvantages to this innovation? Explain your answer.




  1. Outline the essential features of “Public Goods?” Is innovation a “Public Good?” Why or why not? In your answer, you may wish to refer to the concept of “technology bias” and/or you may wish to focus on specific stages of the innovation process.




  1. Is state activity and funding necessary for landmark innovation in modern economies? Why or why not? In your answer you may wish to refer to one key area of innovative practice – for example, innovation connected to renewable energy and/or addressing climate change.


Compare and contrast John Rawls’s theory of social justice with Locke’s classic argument regarding private property rights. Do these theories differ with respect to their views on the justified role of the state? What do the theories have in common?



What is a universal minimum income or universal basic income? Is a universal minimum income the most preferable policy solution to the employment and income distribution effects of mechanization? Explain your answer.



Referring to TWO case studies of your choice, explain why some innovations raise ethical problems for which it is may not be  possible to provide a clear answer or solution.


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