In the summer of 2015 I delivered this paper, written by my father Chris Freeman, at the University della Tuscia, where I was working at the time. The University had invited Chris to deliver a memorial lecture on Schumpeter. He spent a lot of time writing it, but was beginning to experience problems with blood pressure; his doctor advised him not to take the flight and I gave it in his place.
I regard this paper as a landmark contribution from Chris, magnified by the fact that he has come to be regarded as the representative of what is now termed neo-Schumpeterianism ; in it, he provides a definitive evaluation of Schumpeter’s place in economic theory.
It was published in the Economic Journal of Economic and Social Systems, volume 27 No 1-2., in February 2015.
I wrote an introduction to it, which I have published separately on this academia site.
The EJESS abstract reads as follows:
In this lecture from the end of the 1990s, until now unpublished, Chris Freeman analyses the possible reasons for the relative lack of receptivity awarded to Schumpeter’s Business Cycles. He suggests that the insufficient success may be due, not to the heavy style or the doubts about statistical validity, but rather to the weaknesses in the theory.
According to Freeman, Schumpeter was right in pointing to the qualitative changes in the structure of the economy as the causes of the spring and ebb tides in growth rates. Where he was weak was in his theories of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. The article analyses each of these theories, discussing their strengths and shortcomings, and then looks at how the neoSchumpeterians have been contributing to further the strengths and overcome the weaknesses. The article concludes inviting researchers to continue following Schumpeter’s pioneering insights into the theories of innovation and long cycles.