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The Coevolution of Technology and Organization in the Transition to the Factory System

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  • Richard N. Langlois

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

This essay is a reinterpretation of the debate over the origins of the factory system. In the end, it argues, the explanation for the rise of the factory system lies in the realm of organization, but not in the qualities of organization envisaged by either the "radical" view or the transaction-cost view. Drawing on the recent explanations of Clark and Lazonick, the paper suggests that the explanation lies in the volume effect rather than the division-of-labor effect of increasing extent of the market. The essay closes with some musings on the logic of both efficiency and exploitation in historical explanation.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard N. Langlois, 1996. "The Coevolution of Technology and Organization in the Transition to the Factory System," Working papers 1996-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:1996-04
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    File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/1996-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard M. Todd, 1984. "Improving economic forecasting with Bayesian vector autoregression," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
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    6. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
    7. Cooley, Thomas F. & Leroy, Stephen F., 1985. "Atheoretical macroeconometrics: A critique," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 283-308, November.
    8. Smith, Lawrence B & Rosen, Kenneth T & Fallis, George, 1988. "Recent Developments in Economic Models of Housing Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 29-64.
    9. Litterman, Robert B, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian Vector Autoregressions-Five Years of Experience," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, January.
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    12. Isaac F. Megbolugbe & Allen P. Marks & Mary B. Schwartz, 1991. "The Economic Theory of Housing Demand: A Critical Review," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 6(3), pages 381-393.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Langlois, 2013. "The Institutional Revolution: A review essay," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 383-395, December.
    2. Kapás, Judit, 2007. "Hogyan fejlődik a vállalat?. A fizikai és a társadalmi technológia kölcsönhatásos evolúciós folyamata
      [How do firms develop?. The mutual evolutionary process of physical and social technology]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 49-66.
    3. Mokyr, Joel, 2001. "The rise and fall of the factory system: technology, firms, and households since the industrial revolution," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 1-45.
    4. Douglas W. Allen & Yoram Barzel, 2007. "The Evolution of Criminal Law and Police," Working Papers UWEC-2008-01, University of Washington, Department of Economics.

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