Innovations, Markets and Institutions

An Historical Approach
  • Lars Magnusson
  • Göran Marklund
Part of the Recent Economic Thought book series (RETH, volume 36)


In recent economic history there has been a strong tendency to downplay the importance of the industrialization process as a radical break with the past. Thus even the notion of an “industrial revolution” has been put to question by many scholars such that industrialization as a continuous process has tended to replace the older picture of discontinuity and radicalchange. For example, newly estimated indicators for the growth achievement of Britain during industrialization seem to suggest that growth was much more sluggish and its effects much less dramatic than once perceived (Crafts, 1985; Williamson, 1987). Further, the discussion concerning the existence of a certain “proto-industrial” stage before the emergence of the real industrial revolution has also tended to stress the longevity of the process. Hence from this discussion has emerged a host of regional studies that suggest industrialization mainly carried further processes of grow thand change rooted in older cultural, social, and demographic conditions(Kriedte et al., 1983; Berg et al., 1987; Isacson and Magnusson, 1987; Hudson, 1992). Lastly, in much of the recent “flexible specialization” debate,which has emphasized the vitality of a “craft alternative” to large-scaleindustrialization (for example, in Piore and Sabel, 1984; Sable and Zeitlin,1984), there is also stress on the gradual and slow emergence of industrial economies, the emergence of large-scale industry, and the factory as a stylized manifestion of the process of organizational change during this period.


Transaction Cost Technical Change Industrial Revolution Technological Knowledge Innovative Activity 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Magnusson
    • 1
  • Göran Marklund
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economic HistoryUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Economic HistoryUppsalaSweden

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