Sources Of Technical Change: Induced Innovation, Evolutionary Theory And Path Dependence
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.
|Date of creation:||1996|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (612) 625-1222
Fax: (612) 625-6245
Web page: http://www.apec.umn.edu/EDC.html
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nelson, Richard R & Winter, Sidney G, 1973. "Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Economic Capabilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 440-49, May.
- 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.
- Nordhaus, William D, 1973. "Some Skeptical Thoughts on the Theory of Induced Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 208-19, May.
- Freeman, Chris, 1994. "The Economics of Technical Change," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(5), pages 463-514, October.
- Nelson, Richard R & Winter, Sidney G & Schuette, Herbert L, 1976. "Technical Change in an Evolutionary Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 90-118, February.
- Winter, Sidney G, 1971. "Satisficing, Selection, and the Innovating Remnant," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 237-61, May.
- Richard R. Nelson, 1995. "Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 48-90, March.
- 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.
- 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.
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
- 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.
- Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
- James, John A. & Skinner, Jonathan S., 1985.
"The Resolution of the Labor-Scarcity Paradox,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(03), pages 513-540, September.
- Cecilia Chaing & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
- Stephen E. Margolis & S.J. Liebowitz, .
"Path Dependence, Lock-in and History,"
Working Paper Series
10, North Carolina State University, Department of Economics.
- Jason E. Christian, 1993. "The Simple Microeconomics of Induced Innovation," Industrial Organization 9312001, EconWPA.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hayami, Yujiro & Ruttan, Vernon W., 1969.
"Factor Prices And Technical Change In Agricultural Development: The United States And Japan, 1880-1960,"
14172, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
- 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 1115-41, Sept.-Oct.
- Fogel, Robert William, 1967. "The Specification Problem in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 283-308, September.
- Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- 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 255-67, November.
- 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.
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: (AgEcon Search)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.