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'Modern Capitalism' in the 1970s and 1980s

Author

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  • Jan Fagerberg

    (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)

  • Bart Verspagen

    (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)

Abstract

John Cornwall built his analysis of Modern Capitalism on a combination of two strands of thought; the Schumpeter-Svennilson view of capitalist development as a process of qualitative change driven by innovation and diffusion of technology, and the Kaldorian idea of static and dynamic economies of scale in manufacturing as the driving force behind economic progress in the industrialized world. Combining these (and other) insights into a coherent perspective on modern economic growth was an important achievement in itself. He also provided convincing evidence from a group of industrialized countries in the fifties and sixties that supported his interpretation of the events. What we have done in this paper is to update and extend his empirical analysis using a larger sample of countries and more recent data. We have found that the Schumpeter-Svennilson perspective of growth as a process of qualitative (and structural) change, and the emphasis on the importance of skills and flexibility, has a lot to commend it. On the second set of ideas the evidence is more ambiguous. At least for many of the technologically and economically most advanced countries, manufacturing does not seem to be the ‘engine of growth’ assumed by Kaldor and Cornwall.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 1999. "'Modern Capitalism' in the 1970s and 1980s," Working Papers Archives 1999002, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:wparch:1999002
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    File URL: http://www.tik.uio.no/InnoWP/archive/wpno002-1999.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Fagerberg, Jan, 2000. "Technological progress, structural change and productivity growth: a comparative study," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 393-411, December.
    2. Lavopa, Alejandro & Szirmai, Adam, 2012. "Industrialization, employment and poverty," MERIT Working Papers 081, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Szirmai, Adam, 2009. "Industrialisation as an engine of growth in developing countries," MERIT Working Papers 010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Vertesy, D., 2014. "Successive leadership changes in the regional jet industry," MERIT Working Papers 046, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Lavopa, Alejandro, 2011. "The impact of sectoral heterogeneities in economic growth and catching up: Empirical evidence for Latin American manufacturing industries," MERIT Working Papers 075, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Silva, Ester G. & Teixeira, Aurora A.C., 2008. "Surveying structural change: Seminal contributions and a bibliometric account," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 273-300, December.
    7. Szirmai, Adam & Verspagen, Bart, 2015. "Manufacturing and economic growth in developing countries, 1950–2005," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 46-59.
    8. Francesco Crespi & Mario Pianta, 2008. "Demand and innovation in productivity growth," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(6), pages 655-672.

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