Introduction

In the previous chapter we focused primarily on macroeconomic theories relevant to growth, and secondarily on the role of technology in those theories. In this chapter we reverse the emphasis, focusing on technology and technical progress as such. It must be acknowledged that, although we by no means exclude social technologies and institutional changes from consideration, our discussion hereafter is almost exclusively focused on physical technologies. This bias is due to the fact that it is far more difficult to define a social technology precisely, still less measure its performance in quantitative terms, than it is for a physical technology. However, we assume that most of the general conclusions of this chapter are equally applicable to social technologies as well as to the physical technologies presented here from which most of our examples are taken.

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