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Philippe Aghion: Innovations are crucial for economic growth


The world famous French economist Professor Philippe Aghion visited the School of Business, Economics and Law on 12 May during his visit to Sweden to receive the Global Award for Entrepreneurship 2016. In his talk he emphasised the importance of inclusive growth and the access to free education to foster innovators.

Philippe AghionPhilippe Aghion is famous for his research on economic growth and innovations also referred to as the Schumpeterian paradigm. Among other things he argues that development takes place through "creative destruction" whereby new innovations and firms replace existing technologies and sometimes make whole sectors of industry obsolete.

Ola Olsson, professor in economics at the Department of Economics, University og Gothenburg, who has also done a lot of research on economic growth, has benefitted a lot from Aghion's research:

– Aghion's model of Schumpeterian endogenous growth has implications for both research and policy and has inspired numerous research efforts since its emergence in the early 1990's, says Ola Olsson.

In his most recent work, Living the "American Dream" in Finland, Philippe Aghion has investigated the determinants of the probability of becoming an innovator, using Finnish census data. His results show that parental income but also parental education levels strongly influence whether people become innovators. Furthermore, being an innovator enhances both intra- and intergenerational social mobility.

Philippe Aghion graduated from Harvard University and is now the Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics. At present he works at Collège de France in Paris.

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