Chapter 2

Sources of Technical Change:Induced Innovation, EvolutionaryTheory, and Path Dependence

Vernon W. Ruttan

2.1   Introduction

This is an appropriate time to take stock, as economists, of our understanding of the determinants of the rate and direction of technical change. The 1960s through the 1980s produced considerable new theory and empirical insight into the process of technical change. In the 1960s and 1970s, major attention was focused on the implications of changes in demand and in relative factor prices. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, attention shifted to evolutionary models inspired by a revival of interest in Schumpeter's insight into the sources of economic development. Since the early 1980s, these models have been complemented ...

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