Innovation and growth in Germany over the past 150 years
This contribution starts from today's definitions of innovation indicators and traces their evolution back over the past 150 years. It is divided into a descriptive and an econometric part. The German innovation system has generally been very stable, even though it witnessed several political changes over the past century. This allows a comparison of the period 1850-1913 with 1951-1999. In the first period, the overall empirical results indicate a linear innovation relation beween student numbers as well as public science expenditure, the number of patents granted, and economic demand. However, the second period suggests a different logic in the innovation process; demand drives total R&D expenditure, while patent output does not follow demand. The real domestic product does not seem to depend strongly on innovation activities.