Future historians of economic thought will doubtless find it remarkable that so little systematic attention was given in the first half of this century to the causes and the consequences of industrial innovation. Material progress, it had long been taken for granted, was bound up with technical advance and technical advance in turn, with change, variety and novelty; but whence this novelty, how closely it was related to rising standards of living, whether and how it might be stimulated or stifled: all this ground remained largely untrodden by the economic historian or the economic theorist. The comparative disregard of one, if not the main, spring of economic progress is not altogether mysterious. The subject is not one to which economic analysis is easily applied; it may yet prove impossible to apply it so. And the descriptive economist finds his way blocked by the complexity of the subject: the growing specialisation in science and technology presents to the outside observer a barrier even to the simplest understanding of what is occurring there.
KeywordsTechnical Progress Adipic Acid Pure Science Patent Litigation Windscreen Wiper
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