Historical Perspective of the Role of Technology in Economic Development
The focus of this paper is to investigate technology changes and influence on economies since the First Industrial Revolution. The First Industrial Revolution was the first point in time when both increase of GDP per capita and population occurred at the same time (avoiding the Malthusian trap). Thus the selected point in time. Furthermore, developments of the late 18th and 19th centuries have some common properties with development of new technologies today. Even though the process of technological change changed during this time, there are still some lessons to be learned from distant and near history on how to gauge policies for fostering successful technological advances. Changes that occurred are relevant for respective economies, industries, companies and individuals. On all these levels changes occurred that were unprecedented in history before the First Industrial Revolution. It is not suggested that technological progress of centuries before the First Industrial Revolution was insignificant, but it certainly did not have such a profound impact in all areas of human life and existence.
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