Technology, Institutions, and Economic Growth

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Harvard University Press, 2005 - Business & Economics - 306 pages

This volume mounts a full-blown attack on the standard neo-classical theory of economic growth, which Richard Nelson sees as hopelessly inadequate to explain the phenomenon of economic growth. He presents an alternative theory which highlights that economic growth driven by technological advance involves disequilibrium in a fundamental and continuing way. Nelson also argues that a theory of economic growth driven by technological advance must recognize a range of institutions, such as universities, public laboratories, and government agencies, in addition to business firms and markets. He further argues that growth theories that focus on an aggregate measure of growth, such as GNP per capita, are blind to what is going on beneath the aggregate, where differing rates of advance in different sectors, and the birth and death of industries are an essential part of the growth process. The broad theory of economic growth Nelson presents sees the process as involving the co-evolution of technologies, institutions, and industry structure.

 

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Contents

PART I
7
The Agenda for Growth Theory A Different Point of View
9
The Asian Miracle and Modern Growth Theory
39
Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change
65
On the Nature and Evolution of Human Knowhow
115
Making Sense of Institutions as a Factor Shaping Economic Performance
139
PART III
171
On the Uneven Evolution of Human Knowhow
173
Physical and Social Technologies and Their Evolution
195
PART IV
211
The Problem of Market Bias in Modern Capitalist Economies
213
The Market Economy and the Scientific Commons
240
References
271
Index
293
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Richard R. Nelson is George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs, Business, and Law, Emeritus, at Columbia University.

Richard R. Nelson is George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs, Business, and Law, Emeritus, at Columbia University.

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