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The economics of the light economy

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  • Antonelli, Cristiano
  • Fassio, Claudio

Abstract

The paper provides an interpretative framework and structured empirical evidence of the processes leading to the emergence of a light and slow growth economy in advanced countries. The interpretative framework rests upon the grafting of a) the Schumpeterian hypothesis about the role of creative reaction as the main determinant of the rate of technological change b) in a dynamic version of the Hecksher–Ohlin analysis with c) the Kuznets approach on the strict complementarity of structural and technological changes, and d) the new approach about the direction of technological change biased towards the most intensive use of locally abundant production factors. The analysis of the stylized facts and the empirical evidence confirms that the twin globalization of product and capital markets brought about by the entry of new labor abundant countries in international markets had profound effects on advanced countries leading to the introduction of skill biased technological change with the consequent decline of the role of the manufacturing industry and the emergence of a strong knowledge intensive business service sector. The new biased direction of technological change accelerated the substitution of both capital and unskilled labor with skilled workers with the ultimate effect of reducing the stock of working capital and hence the rates of growth of advanced economies. The slow growth is a physiological feature of the new emerging light economies that rely upon knowledge intensive but capital saving technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonelli, Cristiano & Fassio, Claudio, 2014. "The economics of the light economy," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 89-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:87:y:2014:i:c:p:89-107
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.11.006
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    3. Jingxiao Zhang & Haiyan Xie & Hui Li, 2017. "Positioning and Priorities of Growth Management in Construction Industrialization: Chinese Firm-Level Empirical Research," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(7), pages 1-23, June.
    4. Campos, Nauro F. & Eichenauer, Vera Z. & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2020. "Close encounters of the European kind: Economic integration, sectoral heterogeneity and structural reforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
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    6. Cristiano Antonelli, 2016. "The bumpy ride to the knowledge economy," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(3), pages 337-344, September.
    7. Cristiano, Antonelli, 2019. "The creative response and international trade11The comments of the anonymous referees and the editor are gratefully acknowledged. The funding of my Department are acknowledged," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 445-452.
    8. Jadranka Švarc & Marina Dabić, 2017. "Evolution of the Knowledge Economy: a Historical Perspective with an Application to the Case of Europe," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(1), pages 159-176, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Twin globalization; Skill biased technological change; Knowledge economy; Slow growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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