Why, indeed, in America? Theory, History, and the Origins of Modern Economic Growth
AbstractWhen they are used together, economic history and new growth theory give a more complete picture of technological change than either can give on its own. An empirical strategy for studying growth that does not use historical evidence is likely to degenerate into sterile model testing exercises. Historical analysis that uses the wrong kind of theory or no theory may not emphasize the lessons about technology that generalize. The complementarity between these fields is illustrated by an analysis of early industrialization. The key theoretical observation is that larger markets and larger stocks of resources create substantially bigger incentives for discovering new ways to use the resources. This simple insight helps explain why the techniques of mass production emerged in the United States during the first half of the 19th century. It also helps explain how a narrow advantage in the techniques of mass production for a small set of goods grew into broad position of industrial supremacy by the middle of the 20th century.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5443.
Date of creation: Jan 1996
Date of revision:
Note: DAE EFG
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Romer, Paul M, 1996. "Why, Indeed, in America? Theory, History, and the Origins of Modern Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 202-06, May.
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gregory Mankiw, 1995.
"The Growth of Nations,"
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 275-326.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "The Growth of Nations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1732, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Davis, Lewis S., 2008. "Scale effects in growth: A role for institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 403-419, May.
- Kevin J. Fox & W. Erwin Diewert, 2004.
"On the Estimation of Returns to Scale, Technical Progress and Monopolistic Markups,"
Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings
310, Econometric Society.
- Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2008. "On the estimation of returns to scale, technical progress and monopolistic markups," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 174-193, July.
- Philip Auerswald & Stuart Kauffman & Jose Lobo & Karl Shell, 1998.
"The Production Recipes Approach to Modeling Technological Innovation: An Application to Learning By Doing,"
98-11-100, Santa Fe Institute.
- Auerswald, Philip & Kauffman, Stuart & Lobo, Jose & Shell, Karl, 2000. "The production recipes approach to modeling technological innovation: An application to learning by doing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 389-450, March.
- Ogunleye, Eric Kehinde, 2008. "Natural resource abundance in Nigeria: From dependence to development," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 168-174, September.
- Ren, Liqian & Rangazas, Peter, 2003. "Retirement saving and development traps," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 119-132, February.
- Ian W. Mclean, 2004.
"Australian Economic Growth in Historical Perspective,"
The Economic Record,
The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(250), pages 330-345, 09.
- Ian W. McLean, 2004. "Australian Economic Growth in Historical Perspective," School of Economics Working Papers 2004-01, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
- Ian McLean, 2004. "Australian Economic Growth in Historical Perspective," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0410003, EconWPA.
- Pope, Clayne, 2009. "Measuring the distribution of material well-being: U.S. trends," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 66-78, January.
- Temple, Jonathan & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 1998.
"Human capital, equipment investment, and industrialization,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1343-1362, July.
- Jonathan Temple & Hans-Joachim Voth, 1996. "Human capital, equipment investment, and industrialization," Economics Papers 22 & 116, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Barbier, Edward B., 2004. "Agricultural Expansion, Resource Booms and Growth in Latin America: Implications for Long-run Economic Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 137-157, January.
- Arora, Ashish & Fosfuri, Andrea & Gambardella, Alfonso, 2001. "Specialized technology suppliers, international spillovers and investment: evidence from the chemical industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 31-54, June.
- Philip Auerswald, 2010. "Entry and Schumpeterian profits," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 553-582, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.