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October 1, 2022 

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WELFARE: An assortment of programs that provide assistance to the poor. The cornerstone of our welfare system is Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), which was created by the Social Security Act (1935). It provides cash benefits to assist needy families with children under the age of 18. Funding comes partly from the federal government and partly from states. Because states also administer their own programs, benefits and qualification criteria differ from state to state. A second part of the welfare system, one that's run entirely by the federal government, is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program provides cash benefits to elderly, blind, and disabled in addition to any benefits received through the Social Security system. Our welfare system includes a whole bunch of additional benefits, including Medicaid, food stamps, low-cost housing, school lunches, job training, day care, and earned-income tax credits.

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PRODUCT INNOVATION:

An innovation of a new product, technology, or idea that generates a beneficial improvement in society and the economy; one that is fundamentally different from existing products, technologies, or ideas. The contrast is with a process innovation, which is an improvement in an existing product, technology, or idea.
A product innovation is the process of developing and making available a new good, service, production technique, idea, concept, scientific theory, law, business, cultural norm, social organization, or government agency that is substantially different from, and an improvement over, what currently exists. The "product" in question need not be a tangible "good" that is exchanged through a market, but includes a wide range of "things" that result in a change in the status quo and a modification of the existing institutions that form the structure of society and the economy.

A related concept is process innovation, which is a (usually) moderate alteration of an existing product or how an existing product is produced. The line between product and process innovation is not always clear cut. In some cases an existing product can experience so many process innovations that it actually becomes a new product.

A product innovation might lead to major changes in the very fabric of society or might just make one small aspect of life a little bit easier. Product innovations falling in the major category include the Gutenberg printing press, the electric light bulb, the automobile, and the personal computer. Modern society would be substantially different without these innovations.

The minor side of product innovations includes such things as the battery powered drill driver, the electric can opener, the stapler, and the ballpoint pen. Each is useful. Each is an improvement. Each has made life a little easier. But none are indispensable. Life would likely exist much as it is now in the absence of this product innovations.

Of course product innovations go beyond typical, tangible "goods." The U.S. Constitution is a notable product innovation that goes beyond the "typical." Another is Christianity. Drive-in movies, popular in the 50s and 60s, are a third among many.

<= PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATIONPRODUCT LIFE CYCLE =>


Recommended Citation:

PRODUCT INNOVATION, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2022. [Accessed: October 1, 2022].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | process innovation | innovation | behavioral alternatives | managerial behavior | entrepreneurial behavior | novel information | redundant information | institution | innovation profit | technology |


Or For A Little Background...

     | market structures | market structure continuum | market control | barriers to entry | business cycles | economic profit | entrepreneurship | risk | normal profit | opportunity cost | government functions |


And For Further Study...

     | economics of information | economics of uncertainty | risk preferences | alternative business cycles | creative destruction | good types | public goods | monopoly profit | innovation and entrepreneurship |


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