Localized technological change and factor markets: constraints and inducements to innovation
The recent advances in the economics of innovation and the analysis of how composition effects influence the introduction of technological change in a global economy, characterized by the variety of production functions in use and different local factor markets, provide new strength to the induced innovation approach. Developing the localized technological change approach, it is argued that because there are irreversibilities, limited knowledge and local learning, the introduction of new technologies is induced by the disequilibrium conditions brought about in each system by all changes in relative factor prices. The direction of technological change in terms of its specific form of bias and how it is introduced and adopted, however, reflects the specific conditions of local factor markets. Well-defined long-term technological paths emerge in each region and they depend on the selection process in product markets. The more rigid and idiosyncratic, the endowment of production factors and the system of relative prices are, the more specific the technological path of each region is likely to be. The divide between the microeconomic and the macroreconomic models of induced technological change is reconciled.
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