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In Memoriam: Suzanne Scotchmer
The TAP staff is sad to have learned that Professor Suzanne Scotchmer
passed away January 30, 2014. One of her colleagues, Professor Joshua Gans said of her
: “She was one of the most significant figures in applied economic theory over the past few decades. Her work continues to be a main driver of research and, indeed, policy work today.”
In an interview
with The Toulouse Network for Information Technology
, an organization she was a founding member of, Professor Scotchmer
spoke of the importance of imagination in innovation:
All economics is about scarcity. In R&D, it is not the resources that are scarce as much as the imagination that is scarce. The high rates of return are not returns to resource investment, but rather to the scarcity of investment opportunities. It is imagination that is scarce.
Neither branch of economic theory has addressed the problem of stimulating imagination. By starting with a well posed problem, game theory suppresses the act of imagination, and general equilibrium theory either does not accommodate the introduction of new knowledge or takes the investment opportunities as given.
was Professor of Economics, Professor of Law, and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.