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Industrial Growth and the Theory of Retardation. Precursors of an Adaptive Evolutionary Theory of EconomicChange

  • John Stanley Metcalfe

In the 1930s the idea of industrial growth was explored extensively by many economists in particular by Simon Kuznets and Arthur Burns. In their detailed empirical studies they identified diversity of industry growth rates and retardation of industry growth rates as a central feature of capitalist economic development. Yet the theory of growth rate diversity and retardation has only recently begun to be explored in detail by evolutionary economists. This paper is written in recognition of the contribution of Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter to this enterprise. It develops a model of industrial growth with endogenous technical progress in which the conditions for retardation are identified and explored. The paper has wider connections with the Austrian emphasis on economic activity as a discovery process in which innovation creates new market niches that are subsequently explored and further developed.

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Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue économique.

Volume (Year): 54 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 407-431

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Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_542_0407
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  1. Cowan, Robin & Cowan, William & Swann, Peter, 1997. "A model of demand with interactions among consumers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 711-732, October.
  2. Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
  3. J. Stan Metcalfe & John Foster & Ronnie Ramlogan, 2006. "Adaptive economic growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(1), pages 7-32, January.
  4. Jason Potts, 2001. "Knowledge and markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 413-431.
  5. Mariana Mazzucato, 2002. "The PC Industry: New Economy or Early Life-Cycle?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(2), pages 318-345, April.
  6. Jati Sengupta, 2001. "A model of Schumpeterian innovations," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(6), pages 397-401.
  7. Metcalfe, J S, 2001. "Institutions and Progress," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 561-86, September.
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