Journal Article

Technology and economic theory

J. Stan Metcalfe

in Cambridge Journal of Economics

Published on behalf of Cambridge Political Economy Society

Volume 34, issue 1, pages 153-171
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0309-166X
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1464-3545 | DOI:
Technology and economic theory

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  • Technological Change; Research and Development


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Technology and technological change play a central role in economics, whether in the theory of resource allocation or in the theory of growth and development. Yet the nature of technology is largely ignored in economic theory, it being considered sufficient to treat technology as a constraint on productive opportunities. This short essay delves a little deeper into the nature of technology and the material, energy and information transformation processes that it represents. A deeper understanding of technology leads to a deeper understanding of the main currents of technological advance and to the reasons why the development of technology and its application are so uneven over time and place.

Keywords: Technology; Transformations; Technological change; O30; O33

Journal Article.  10440 words. 

Subjects: Technological Change; Research and Development

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