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A General Purpose Technology at Work: The Corliss Steam Engine in the late 19th Century US

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Author Info

  • Rosenberg, N.
  • Trajtenberg, M.

Abstract

The steam engine is widely regarded as the icon of the Industrial Revolution and a prime example of a “General Purpose Technology,” and yet its contribution to growth is far from transparent. This paper examines the role that a particular innovative design in steam power, the Corliss engine, played in the intertwined processes of industrialization and urbanization that characterized the growth of the US economy in the late 19th century.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tel Aviv in its series Papers with number 2001-27.

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Length: 67 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:teavfo:2001-27

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Israel TEL-AVIV UNIVERSITY, THE FOERDER INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH, RAMAT AVIV 69 978 TEL AVIV ISRAEL.
Phone: 972-3-640-9255
Fax: 972-3-640-5815
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Web page: http://econ.tau.ac.il/research/foerder.asp
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Keywords: TECHNOLOGY ; WATER POWER ; INNOVATIONS;

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References

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  1. Helpman, Elhanan & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 1994. "A Time to Sow and a Time to Reap: Growth Based on General Purpose Technologies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1080, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 1988. "Inventive Activity in Early Industrial America: Evidence From Patent Records, 1790-1846," UCLA Economics Working Papers 499, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Atack, Jeremy & Bateman, Fred & Weiss, Thomas, 1980. "The Regional Diffusion and Adoption of the Steam Engine in American Manufacturing," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(02), pages 281-308, June.
  4. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1992. "General Purpose Technologies "Engines of Growth?"," NBER Working Papers 4148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nathan Rosenberg, 1996. "Uncertainty and technological change," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 40(Jun), pages 91-125.
  6. Temin, Peter, 1966. "Steam and Waterpower in the Early Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 187-205, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Henrekson, Magnus & Edquist, Harald, 2006. "Technological Breakthroughs and Productivity Growth," Working Paper Series 665, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Thomas Hempell, 2005. "Does experience matter? innovations and the productivity of information and communication technologies in German services," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 277-303.
  3. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2006:i:7:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Carolina Castaldi & Alessandro Nuvolari, 2004. "Technological Revolutions and Economic Growth: The “Age of Steam” Reconsidered," LEM Papers Series 2004/11, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Castaldi, C. & Nuvolari, A., 2003. "Technological Revolutions and Economic Growth:The �Age of Steam� Reconsidered," Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series 03.25, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
  6. Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini & Sandro Sapio, 2004. "Yeast vs. Mushrooms: A Note on Harberger's "A Vision of the Growth Process"," LEM Papers Series 2004/03, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  7. Nicholas Crafts, 2003. "Steam as a general purpose technology: a growth accounting perspective," Economic History Working Papers 22354, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  8. Falkinger, Josef & Grossmann, Volker, 2005. "Distribution of Natural Resources, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development: Growth Dynamics with Two Elites," IZA Discussion Papers 1756, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Falkinger, Josef & Grossmann, Volker, 2004. "Institutions and Development: The Interaction between Trade Regime and Political System," IZA Discussion Papers 1242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Franz-Josef Bade & Claus-Friedrich Laaser & Rüdiger Soltwedel, 2004. "Urban Specialization in the Internet Age � Empirical Findings for Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1215, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  11. Castaldi, C. & Nuvolari, A., 2003. "Technological Revolutions and Economic Growth:The �Age of Steam� Reconsidered," Working Papers 03.25, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
  12. Paul A. David, 2005. "Productivity growth prospects and the new economy in historical perspective," Economic History 0502005, EconWPA.
  13. Guy Michaels, 2010. "Challenges for research on resource-rich economies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55256, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Sandro Sapio & Grid Thoma, 2006. "The Growth of Industrial Sectors: Theoretical Insights and Empirical Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," LEM Papers Series 2006/09, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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