Chapter

Innovation and Its Enemies: The Economic and Political Roots of Technological Inertia

Joel Mokyr

in A Not-so-dismal Science

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780198294900
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596728 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198294905.003.0003
 Innovation and Its Enemies: The Economic and Political Roots of Technological Inertia

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Provides additional reasons (other than those advanced in the last chapter) for concluding that the rate at which a country grows is not predetermined by its endowments, but depends much more on the extent to which it adopts superior technologies. The economic and political reasons for purposeful resistance to innovation adoption are discussed, and two basic propositions are established—that technological inertia is usually (1) a characteristic widely observed in complex systems that follow an evolutionary dynamic, and (2) the outcome of rational behaviour by utility‐maximizing individuals. Thus, it is not necessary to fall back on differences in preferences to explain why some societies are more amenable to technological change than others.

Keywords: economic growth; innovation adoption; resistance; technological change; technological inertia

Chapter.  15531 words. 

Subjects: Economic Systems

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