Exploring the Black Box : Technology, Economics, and History
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.
- Paperback | 288 pages
- 152 x 224 x 22mm | 458.13g
- 27 Sep 2007
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 4 b/w illus.
Back cover copy
This book attempts to show how technological change is generated and the processes by which improved technologies are introduced into economic activity. The book advances our understanding of technological change by explicitly recognizing its essential diversity and path-dependent nature. Individual chapters explore the particular features of new technologies in different historical and sectoral contexts.
'If you read nothing else on technological innovation, you will not go wrong by reading Rosenberg. One of the great virtues of his work is that it is easily accessible to the general reader.' Nature
Table of contents
List of figures; Preface; Introduction; Part I. Dealing With an Uncertain Future: 1. Path-dependent aspects of technological change; 2. Charles Babbage: pioneer economist; 3. Joseph Schumpeter: radical economist; 4. Technological innovation and long waves; Part II. Technology in Context: 5. Economic experiments; 6. Why in America?; 7. Can Americans learn to become better imitators?; 8. Critical issues in science policy research; Part III. Sectoral Studies in Technological Change: 9. Energy-efficient technologies: past and future perspectives; 10. Innovation in the chemical processing industries; 11. Telecommunications: complex, uncertain, and path-dependent; 12. Understanding the adoption of new technology in the forest products industry; 13. Scientific instrumentation and university research; Index.