Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth

Paperback | November 18, 2005

byRichard Lipsey, Kenneth I. Carlaw, Clifford T. Bekar

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This book examines the long term economic growth that has raised the West's material living standards to levels undreamed of by counterparts in any previous time or place. The authors argue that this growth has been driven by technological revolutions that have periodically transformed theWest's economic, social and political landscape over the last 10,000 years and allowed the West to become, until recently, the world's only dominant technological force. Unique in the diversity of the analytical techniques used, the book begins with a discussion of the causes and consequences of economic growth and technological change. The authors argue that long term economic growth is largely driven by pervasive technologies now known as General Purpose (GPTs).They establish an alternative to the standard growth models that use an aggregate production function and then introduce the concept of GPTs, complete with a study of how these technologies have transformed the West since the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution. Early modern science is given moreimportance than in most other treatments and the 19th century demographic revolution is studied with a combination of formal models of population dynamics and historical analysis. The authors argue that once sustained growth was established in the West, formal models can shed much light on its subsequent behaviour. They build non-conventional, dynamic, non-stationary equilibrium models of GPT-driven growth that incorporate a range of phenomena that their historical studiesshow to be important but which are excluded from other GPT models in the interests of analytical tractability. The book concludes with a study of the policy implications that follow from their unique approach.

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This book examines the long term economic growth that has raised the West's material living standards to levels undreamed of by counterparts in any previous time or place. The authors argue that this growth has been driven by technological revolutions that have periodically transformed theWest's economic, social and political landscape...

Dr. Richard G. Lipsey is currently a Professor Emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University. He received his B.A. from U.B.C. in 1951, M.A. from Toronto in 1953 and PhD from London School of Economics in 1957. He has held a chair in Economics at the London School of Economics and was chairman of the Department of Economics and dea...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:656 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.5 inPublished:November 18, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019929089X

ISBN - 13:9780199290895

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Table of Contents

Foreword: The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and this BookPreface: Why Another Book on Growth?AcknowledgementsGROWTH, TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AND GENERAL PURPOSE TECHNOLOGIES1. Technology as Revolution2. Two Views of Economic Processes3. A Structuralist Evolutionary Decomposition4. Technology and Technological Change5. DT A Survey of GPTs in Western History: Part I 10,000 BC to 1450 AD6. A Survey Of GPTs in Western History: Part II 1450 to 2010THE TRANSITION TO SUSTAINED GROWTH7. The Emergence of Sustained Extensive Growth in the West8. Why Not Elsewhere?9. Population Dynamics: Extensive and Intensive Growth Related10. The Emergence of Sustained Intensive Growth in the WestMODELLING SUSTAINED GPT-DRIVEN GROWTH11. DT GPTs and Related Concepts in the Literature12. Scale Economies in Economic Growth13. : Appreciative Theories of GPTs14. Formal Models Of GPT-Driven Sustained Growth: The Base Line Model15. DT Formal Models of GPT-Driven Sustained Growth: Extensions and ApplicationsPOLICY16. Technology Enhancement Policy: Theory and Evidence17. Assessing Technology Enhancement Policies