Exploring the Black Box: Technology, Economics, and History

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 10, 1994 - Business & Economics - 274 pages
The process of technological change takes a wide variety of forms. Propositions that may be accurate when referring to the pharmaceutical industry may be totally inappropriate when applied to the aircraft industry or to computers or forest products. The central theme of Nathan Rosenberg's new book is the idea that technological changes are often 'path dependent', in the sense that their form and direction tend to be influenced strongly by the particular sequence of earlier events out of which a new technology has emerged. The book advances the understanding of technological change by explictly recognising its essential diversity and path-dependent nature. Individual chapters explore the particular features of new technologies in different historical and sectoral contexts. This book presents a unique account of how technological change is generated and the processes by which improved technologies are introduced.
 

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Contents

Pathdependent aspects of technological change
9
Charles Babbage pioneer economist
24
Joseph Schumpeter radical economist
47
Technological innovation and long waves
62
Technology in context
85
Economic experiments
87
Why in America?
109
Can Americans learn to become better imitators?
121
Sectoral studies in technological change
159
Energyefficient technologies past and future perspectives
161
Innovation in the chemical processing industries
190
Telecommunications complex uncertain and pathdependent
203
Understanding the adoption of new technology in the forest products industry
232
Scientific instrumentation and university research
250
Index
264
Copyright

Critical issues in science policy research
139

Common terms and phrases

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