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Veblen on the machine process and technological change

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  • John Latsis

Abstract

This paper explores Veblen's analysis of technological change. I claim that, rather than succumbing to the traditional criticisms, his approach founders due to his failure to fully articulate a social ontology. Whilst Veblen's analysis of his own time remains in many ways compelling, this failure creates a gap between meta-theoretical promise and current theoretical results. I show how work in the social studies of technology has successfully avoided the ontological problems associated with Veblenian economics. This success is tempered by the fact that the field has not yet provided an appropriate framework to systematise the ways in which technical innovations transform social relations in ways that are beyond conscious control and manipulation. Copyright The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 601-615

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:34:y:2010:i:4:p:601-615

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