IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Periodization Problems in the Economic History of Science and Technology


  • Tamás Szmrecsányi

    () (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil)


Nowadays there is no doubt about the interrelation between and mutual dependence of scientific and technical progress on the one hand and economic development on the other. Since this has not always been so, it has become necessary to define and to justify the time from which we may conceive an economic history of science and technology. This problem is easier to solve in relation to the latter than with regard to the former: the relationships between the scientific and the economic systems of any society are not only much more recent than those of the economy with its underlying techniques, but they are also predominantly indirect, usually mediated by or linked to some form of technological development. Technology acquired a scientific basis with the Second Industrial Revolution, whose nature however can only be understood when contrasted with that of the First one as well as with the processes of the professionalization of research and of the transition from natural philosophy and natural history to the contemporary scientific disciplines, both of which took place from the mid-eighteenth century onwards. KEY Classification-JEL: N73, 030, 039, 123

Suggested Citation

  • Tamás Szmrecsányi, 2009. "Periodization Problems in the Economic History of Science and Technology," Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica, vol. 5(03), pages 47-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:invest:v:05:y:2009:i:03:p:47-73

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Online material can be downloaded freely, but a moving wall of three issues apply. The last three issues are only available for registered members of the Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Economic History; Science; Technology; Economic Development;

    JEL classification:

    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ahe:invest:v:05:y:2009:i:03:p:47-73. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (José Antonio Miranda). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.