IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/umedbu/12974.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Sources Of Technical Change: Induced Innovation, Evolutionary Theory And Path Dependence

Author

Listed:
  • Ruttan, Vernon W.

Abstract

The 1960s through the 1980s were very productive of new theory and empirical insight into the sources of technical change. In this paper I argue that each of the three approaches that have been advanced--induced technical change, evolutionary theory and path dependence--is approaching a dead end. The induced technical change process is driven by changes in the economic environment in which the firm (or public research agency) finds itself. But its internal mechanism, the learning and search process, remain inside a black box. The evolutionary model builds on the behavioral theory of the firm in an attempt to provide a more realistic description of the internal workings of the black box. The strength of the path dependence interpretation lies in the importance it places on the sequence of specific micro-level historical events. But it holds only for network technologies characterized by increasing returns to scale--and only until the increasing returns have been exhausted. The three approaches should be regarded as components of a more general theory of the sources of technical change. In the later section of the paper steps that might be taken toward the development of a more general theory of the sources of technical change are suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruttan, Vernon W., 1996. "Sources Of Technical Change: Induced Innovation, Evolutionary Theory And Path Dependence," Bulletins 12974, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:umedbu:12974
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.12974
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/12974/files/edb96-04_1_.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.22004/ag.econ.12974?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
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Herbert A. Simon, 1955. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 99-118.
    2. Nelson, Richard R & Winter, Sidney G, 1974. "Neoclassical vs. Evolutionary Theories of Economic Growth: Critique and Prospectus," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(336), pages 886-905, December.
    3. Nelson, Richard R & Winter, Sidney G, 1973. "Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Economic Capabilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 440-449, May.
    4. William D. Nordhaus, 1973. "Some Skeptical Thoughts on the Theory of Induced Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 208-219.
    5. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1995. "Path Dependence, Lock-in, and History," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-226, April.
    6. Cecilia Chaing & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
    7. Olmstead, Alan L & Rhode, Paul, 1993. "Induced Innovation in American Agriculture: A Reconsideration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 100-118, February.
    8. Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter & Herbert L. Schuette, 1976. "Technical Change in an Evolutionary Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(1), pages 90-118.
    9. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
    10. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    11. Stokes,Raymond G., 1994. "Opting for Oil," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521451246.
    12. Ulrich Witt, 1994. "Evolutionary economics," Chapters, in: Peter J. Boettke (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics, chapter 78, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. John S. Chipman, 1970. "Induced Technical Change and Patterns of International Trade," NBER Chapters, in: The Technology Factor in International Trade, pages 95-142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Freeman, Chris, 1994. "The Economics of Technical Change," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(5), pages 463-514, October.
    15. Foray, Dominique & Grubler, Arnulf, 1990. "Morphological analysis, diffusion and lockout of technologies: Ferrous casting in France and the FRG," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 535-550, December.
    16. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    17. Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1975. "Factor Price Changes and Factor Substitution in an Evolutionary Model," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 466-486, Autumn.
    18. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
    19. Hayami, Yujiro & Ruttan, V W, 1970. "Factor Prices and Technical Change in Agricultural Development: The United States and Japan, 1880-1960," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(5), pages 1115-1141, Sept.-Oct.
    20. Fogel, Robert William, 1967. "The Specification Problem in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 283-308, September.
    21. James, John A. & Skinner, Jonathan S., 1985. "The Resolution of the Labor-Scarcity Paradox," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(3), pages 513-540, September.
    22. K. J. Arrow, 1971. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: F. H. Hahn (ed.), Readings in the Theory of Growth, chapter 11, pages 131-149, Palgrave Macmillan.
    23. Elster,Jon, 1983. "Explaining Technical Change," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521270724.
    24. Sidney G. Winter, 1971. "Satisficing, Selection, and the Innovating Remnant," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 237-261.
    25. Richard R. Nelson, 1995. "Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 48-90, March.
    26. William H. Davidson, 1979. "Factor Endowment, Innovation And International Trade Theory," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 764-774, November.
    27. Jason E. Christian, 1993. "The Simple Microeconomics of Induced Innovation," Industrial Organization 9312001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    28. R. E. Lucas, 1967. "Tests of a Capital-Theoretic Model of Technological Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(2), pages 175-189.
    29. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
    30. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
    31. Vernon, Raymond, 1979. "The Product Cycle Hypothesis in a New International Environment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 41(4), pages 255-267, November.
    32. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    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. Dosi, Giovanni & Nelson, Richard R., 2010. "Technical Change and Industrial Dynamics as Evolutionary Processes," 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 51-127, Elsevier.
    2. Sarkar, Jayati, 1998. "Technological Diffusion: Alternative Theories and Historical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 131-176, April.
    3. Sandra Silva, 2009. "On evolutionary technological change and economic growth: Lakatos as a starting point for appraisal," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 111-135, February.
    4. Kylaheiko, Kalevi, 1998. "Making sense of technology: Towards a synthesis between neoclassical and evolutionary approaches," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 319-332, September.
    5. Carolina Castaldi & Giovanni Dosi, 2003. "The Grip of History and the Scope for Novelty: Some Results and Open Questions on Path Dependence in Economic Processes," LEM Papers Series 2003/02, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Murat YILDIZOGLU, 2009. "Evolutionary approaches of economic dynamics (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2009-16, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    7. Ehrenfeld, Wilfried, 2012. "Towards a Theory of Climate Innovation - A Model Framework for Analyzing Drivers and Determinants," IWH Discussion Papers 1/2012, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    8. Alfred Haid & Markus Thomas Münter, 1999. "Neuere Entwicklungen in der industrieökonomischen Forschung und die aktuelle Berichterstattung über die technologische Leistungsfähigkeit Deutschlands," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 188, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Sydney Winter & Giovanni Dosi, 2000. "Interpreting Economic Change: Evolution, Structures and Games," LEM Papers Series 2000/08, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    10. Jürgen Essletzbichler & David L. Rigby, 2010. "Generalized Darwinism and Evolutionary Economic Geography," Chapters, in: Ron Boschma & Ron Martin (ed.), The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Brousseau, Eric & Raynaud, Emmanuel, 2011. "“Climbing the hierarchical ladders of rules”: A life-cycle theory of institutional evolution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 65-79.
    12. Hunt, Shelby D., 1997. "Resource-advantage theory and the wealth of nations: Developing the socio-economic research tradition," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 335-357.
    13. Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "The middle income trap: a way out based on technological and structural change," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 159-193, August.
    14. Giovanni Dosi & Richard Nelson, 2013. "The Evolution of Technologies: An Assessment of the State-of-the-Art," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 3(1), pages 3-46, June.
    15. Jean‐Philippe Vergne & Rodolphe Durand, 2010. "The Missing Link Between the Theory and Empirics of Path Dependence: Conceptual Clarification, Testability Issue, and Methodological Implications," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 736-759, June.
    16. Attila Havas, 2016. "Social and Business Innovations: Are Common Measurement Approaches Possible?," Foresight-Russia Форсайт, CyberLeninka;Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования «Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики», vol. 10(2 (eng)), pages 58-80.
    17. Fulvio Castellacci, 2007. "Evolutionary And New Growth Theories. Are They Converging?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 585-627, July.
    18. Terutomo Ozawa & Sergio Castello, 2001. "Toward an 'International Business' Paradigm of Endogenous Growth: Multinationals and Governments as Co-Endogenisers," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 211-228.
    19. Nicholas Crafts, 2010. "Cliometrics and technological change: a survey," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1127-1147.
    20. Albert Faber & Koen Frenken, 2008. "Models in evolutionary economics and environmental policy: Towards an evolutionary environmental economics," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 08-15, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2008.

    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:ags:umedbu:12974. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dcumnus.html .

    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: AgEcon Search (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dcumnus.html .

    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.