IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Technological Revolutions and Economic Growth: The “Age of Steam” Reconsidered

  • Carolina Castaldi
  • Alessandro Nuvolari

The aim of this paper is to review the development of steam power technology in the light of the key ideas proposed in General Purpose Technology growth models. We intend to provide a critical evaluation of the interpretive power of such models, which are elaborated around three properties of technological revolutions namely, their technological dynamism, their pervasiveness and their capacity of inducing further innovations (technical and organizational) in the using sectors. Although intuitively appealing, these concepts ought to be more rigorously defined, especially in view of empirical applications of the models. Indeed, the case of the "age of steam" shows a technology that is surely pervasive, but it is characterized by uneven rates of technical advance across application sectors. We argue that GPT based growth models do not seem particularly well-equipped for taking into account the "local" aspect of the accumulation of technological knowledge.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.lem.sssup.it/WPLem/files/2004-11.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2004/11.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2004/11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Piazza dei Martiri della Liberta, 33, 56127 Pisa
Phone: +39-50-883343
Fax: +39-50-883344
Web page: http://www.lem.sssup.it/
Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. Nuvolari, A., 2001. "Collective Invention during the British Industrial Revolution: The Case of the Cornish Pumping Engine," Working Papers 01.04, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
  2. Silverberg, Gerald, 2002. "The discrete charm of the bourgeoisie: quantum and continuous perspectives on innovation and growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1275-1289, December.
  3. Rosenberg, N. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "A General Purpose Technology at Work: The Corliss Steam Engine in the late 19th Century US," Papers 2001-27, Tel Aviv.
  4. repec:dgr:tuecis:0213 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
  6. Nicholas Crafts, 2004. "Steam as a general purpose technology: A growth accounting perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 338-351, 04.
  7. McCloskey, Donald N. & Sandberg, Lars G., 1971. "From damnation to redemption: Judgments on the late victorian entrepreneur," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 89-108.
  8. Paul A. David & Gavin Wright, 2005. "Early Twentieth Century Productivity Growth Dynamics: An Inquiry into the Economic History of “Our Ignorance”," Macroeconomics 0502023, EconWPA.
  9. Bart Verspagen, 2004. "Structural Change and Technology. A Long View," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(6), pages 1099-1125.
  10. repec:dgr:tuecis:0402 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. G. Dosi & G. Fagiolo, 1997. "Exploring the Unknown on Entrepreneurship, Coordination and Innovation Driven Growth," Working Papers ir97077, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
  12. Nelson, Richard R, 1998. "The Agenda for Growth Theory: A Different Point of View," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 497-520, July.
  13. Rosenberg, Nathan & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "A General Purpose Technology at Work: The Corliss Steam Engine in the Late 19th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 3008, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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.
  15. Harberger, Arnold C, 1998. "A Vision of the Growth Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-32, March.
  16. Rosenberg, Nathan & Frischtak, Claudio R, 1984. "Technological Innovation and Long Waves," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 7-24, March.
  17. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-47, September.
  18. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
  19. Crafts, N. F. R., 1995. "Exogenous or Endogenous Growth? The Industrial Revolution Reconsidered," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 745-772, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2004/11. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.