IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/h/eee/haechp/v2_761.html
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

General Purpose Technologies

In: Handbook of the Economics of Innovation

Author

Listed:
  • Bresnahan, Timothy

Abstract

This chapter selectively surveys the literature on general purpose technologies (GPTs), focusing on incentives and aggregate growth implications. The literature on classical GPTs (steam, electricity, computers) and on classical great economic transformations (industrial revolutions, the information age) are linked to the theoretical and empirical literatures. The implications of GPT analysis for understanding the history of productivity growth in the late twentieth century are taken up on the concluding remarks.

Suggested Citation

  • Bresnahan, Timothy, 2010. "General Purpose Technologies," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 761-791, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:haechp:v2_761
    DOI: 10.1016/S0169-7218(10)02002-2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169721810020022
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/S0169-7218(10)02002-2?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    3. Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C., 2004. "Was 19th century British growth steam-powered?: the climacteric revisited," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 156-171, April.
    4. Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2014. "The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(12), pages 2859-2885, December.
    5. Grid Thoma, 2009. "Striving for a large market: evidence from a general purpose technology in action," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 107-138, February.
    6. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 2002. "The Impact of Information Technology on Emergency Health Care Outcomes," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 399-432, Autumn.
    7. Nathan Rosenberg & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2009. "A General-Purpose Technology at Work: The Corliss Steam Engine in the Late-Nineteenth-Century United States," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Studies On Science And The Innovation Process Selected Works of Nathan Rosenberg, chapter 6, pages 97-135, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    9. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    10. Nicholas Crafts, 2004. "Steam as a general purpose technology: A growth accounting perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 338-351, April.
    11. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Innovation and Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 10212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Petra Moser & Tom Nicholas, 2004. "Was Electricity a General Purpose Technology? Evidence from Historical Patent Citations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 388-394, May.
    13. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    14. Lipsey, Richard G. & Carlaw, Kenneth I. & Bekar, Clifford T., 2005. "Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290895.
    15. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2007. "Modeling the Transition to a New Economy: Lessons from Two Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 64-88, March.
    16. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Recombinant Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 331-360.
    17. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-343, October.
    18. Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1999. "Computerisation and Wage Dispersion: An Analytical Reinterpretation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 390-415, June.
    19. Jovanovic, Boyan & Rousseau, Peter L., 2005. "General Purpose Technologies," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1181-1224, Elsevier.
    20. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Wage Inequality and the New Economy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 306-323.
    21. Farrell, Joseph & Klemperer, Paul, 2007. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Timothy Bresnahan & Pai-Ling Yin, 2010. "Reallocating innovative resources around growth bottlenecks," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 1589-1627, October.
    2. Kemeny, Tom & Petralia, Sergio & Storper, Michael, 2022. "Disruptive innovation and spatial inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 115953, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Sang-Yong Tom Lee & Xiao Jia Guo, 2004. "Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Spillover: A Panel Analysis," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 722, Econometric Society.
    4. Clifford Bekar & Kenneth Carlaw & Richard Lipsey, 2018. "General purpose technologies in theory, application and controversy: a review," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 28(5), pages 1005-1033, December.
    5. Edquist, Harald & Henrekson, Magnus, 2004. "Technological Breakthroughs and Productivity Growth," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0562, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 23 Jan 2006.
    6. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
    7. Shih-tse Lo & Dhanoos Sutthiphisal, 2008. "Crossover Inventions And Knowledge Diffusion Of General Purpose Technologies? Evidence From The Electrical Technology," NBER Working Papers 14043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Greenstein, Shane, 2010. "Innovative Conduct in Computing and Internet Markets," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 477-537, Elsevier.
    9. Daniel Schiess & Roger Wehrli, 2008. "The Calm Before the Storm? - Anticipating the Arrival of General Purpose Technologies," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/81, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    10. Uwe Cantner & Simone Vannuccini, 2012. "A New View of General Purpose Technologies," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-054, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    11. Coccia, Mario, 2015. "General sources of general purpose technologies in complex societies: Theory of global leadership-driven innovation, warfare and human development," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 199-226.
    12. Olsson, Ola, 2001. "Why Does Technology Advance in Cycles?," Working Papers in Economics 38, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    13. Ekaterina Prytkova, 2021. "ICT's Wide Web: a System-Level Analysis of ICT's Industrial Diffusion with Algorithmic Links," Jena Economic Research Papers 2021-005, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    14. Erik Brynjolfsson & Kristina McElheran, 2016. "Data in Action: Data-Driven Decision Making in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 16-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    15. Erik Brynjolfsson & Wang Jin & Kristina McElheran, 2021. "The power of prediction: predictive analytics, workplace complements, and business performance," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 56(4), pages 217-239, October.
    16. Дементьев В.Е., 2013. "Структурные Факторы Технологического Развития," Журнал Экономика и математические методы (ЭММ), Центральный Экономико-Математический Институт (ЦЭМИ), vol. 49(4), pages 33-46, октябрь.
    17. Kenneth Carlaw & Richard Lipsey, 2011. "Sustained endogenous growth driven by structured and evolving general purpose technologies," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 563-593, October.
    18. Coccia, Mario, 2018. "A Theory of the General Causes of Long Waves: War, General Purpose Technologies, and Economic Change," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 287-295.
    19. Liao, Hailin & Wang, Bin & Li, Baibing & Weyman-Jones, Tom, 2016. "ICT as a general-purpose technology: The productivity of ICT in the United States revisited," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 10-25.
    20. Tomohiro MACHIKITA & Masatsugu TSUJI & Yasushi UEKI, 2010. "How ICTs Raise Manufacturing Performance: Firm-level Evidence in Southeast Asia," Working Papers DP-2010-07, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    general purpose technology; innovation; technical change; L0; L1; O3;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:eee:haechp:v2_761. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/books/handbook-of-the-economics-of-innovation-volume-1/hall/978-0-444-51995-5 .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/books/handbook-of-the-economics-of-innovation-volume-1/hall/978-0-444-51995-5 .

    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.