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Technological Change And The Environment

Author: Arnulf Grübler
Publisher: Resources for the Future
ISBN: 9781891853463
Size: 77.34 MB
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Much is written in the popular literature about the current pace of technological change. But do we have enough scientific knowledge about the sources and management of innovation to properly inform policymaking in technology dependent domains such as energy and the environment? While it is agreed that technological change does not 'fall from heaven like autumn leaves, ' the theory, data, and models are deficient. The specific mechanisms that govern the rate and direction of inventive activity, the drivers and scope for incremental improvements that occur during technology diffusion, and the spillover effects that cross-fertilize technological innovations remain poorly understood. In a work that will interest serious readers of history, policy, and economics, the editors and their distinguished contributors offer a unique, single volume overview of the theoretical and empirical work on technological change. Beginning with a survey of existing research, they provide analysis and case studies in contexts such as medicine, agriculture, and power generation, paying particular attention to what technological change means for efficiency, productivity, and reduced environmental impacts. The book includes a historical analysis of technological change, an examination of the overall direction of technological change, and general theories about the sources of change. The contributors empirically test hypotheses of induced innovation and theories of institutional innovation. They propose ways to model induced technological change and evaluate its impact, and they consider issues such as uncertainty in technology returns, technology crossover effects, and clustering. A copublication o Resources for the Future (RFF) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

Technical Change And Economic Theory

Author: Giovanni Dosi
Publisher: Burns & Oates
ISBN: 9780861879496
Size: 31.31 MB
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A sustained critique of mainstream economic theory and discussion of the development of an alternative. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Trade Labor Market Rigidities And Government Financed Technological Change

Author: Winfried Koeniger
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 32.19 MB
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This paper contributes to the debate on the effects of trade versus technological change on wage differentials. We propose an explanation of the stylized facts which is based on interactions between openness and technological change because of labor market institutions and government intervention. In particular, technology change is induced by rigid wage elements for a developed economy which is trading with less developed countries. With a binding minimum wage and given commodity prices, openness induces the government to subsidize technological innovation in the developed country because production activities in the sector hit by foreign competition would have to close down otherwise. The economy with a binding minimum wage and institutionally induced innovations differs from the flexible economy in the following way: - The wage differential becomes more compressed the higher the minimum wage. Not only the wage of the unskilled is higher, but also the wage of the skilled is lower. - The productivity of unskilled workers is higher in the sector intensive in its use. - Skill intensity within the unskilled-labor intensive sector can rise although the wage of the skilled rises as well. This perspective may explain why empirical studies have difficulties to find substantial effects of openness on wage differentials although product markets have become increasingly integrated. Moreover, it can explain why the volume of trade between developed and less-developed countries is relatively small. Finally our model yields predictions for developed countries with different labor market institutions that are consistent with empirical evidence.

Staff Paper

Author: University of Alberta. Dept. of Rural Economy
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 62.17 MB
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The Induced Innovation Hypothesis And Energy Saving Technological Change

Author: Richard G. Newell
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 61.30 MB
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Abstract: It follows from Hicks' induced innovation hypothesis that rising energy prices in the last two decades should have induced energy-saving innovation. We formulate the hypothesis concretely using a product-characteristics model of energy-using consumer durables, augmenting Hicks' hypothesis to allow for the possibility that government efficiency standards also induce innovation. Through estimation of characteristics transformation surfaces, we find that technological change reduced the total capital and operating costs of air air conditioning by half and water heating by about one-fifth. Although the rate of overall innovation in these products appears to be independent of energy prices and regulations, the evidence suggests that the direction of innovation has been responsive to energy price changes. In particular, energy price increases induced innovation in a direction that lowered the capital cost tradeoffs inherent in producing more energy-efficiency products. In addition, energy price changes induced changes in the subset of technically feasible models that were offered for sale. Our estimates indicate that about one-quarter to one-half of the improvements in mean energy-efficiency of the menu of new models for these products over the last two decades were associated with rising energy prices since 1973. We also find that this responsiveness to price changes increased substantially after product labeling requirements came into effect, and that minimum efficiency standards had a significant positive effect on average efficiency levels. Nonetheless, a sizeable portion of efficiency improvements in these technologies appears to have been autonomous.