Technology and Structural Change: Output and Employment in the Long Run
Earlier chapters have followed the conventional procedure in economic analysis of distinguishing between microeconomic and macroeconomic problems. Thus in Part I the focus was on the firm as the initiator of technological change. Technological changes brought about by other firms were related to those of the firm under consideration by translating them into components of the environment, which might further be broken down into threats, opportunities, changes in the structure of demand, in patterns of risk facing various lines of technological advance, and so on. Chapter 5 examined the evidence for patterns amongst innovations. By contrast, Chapter 6 dealt largely with technological change from the ‘top down’, rather than from the ‘bottom up’. By assuming that significant numbers of firms are always innovating or adopting, it is possible to hypothesise an average ‘rate of technical change’. On this basis it has been possible to construct economic arguments about the likely effects of a rate of technological change on rates of productivity growth, output growth, trade patterns and so on.
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