Long Waves, Technology Diffusion, and Substitution

Grubler A & Nakicenovic N (1991). Long Waves, Technology Diffusion, and Substitution. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-91-017. Reprinted from Review, XIV(2):313-342 [Spring 1991].

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Abstract

There is an urgent need to drastically reduce adverse environmental impacts resulting from prevailing economic activities. Even more important is the question of the future direction of economic development and technological changes. In this paper the authors argue, from a historical perspective, that this process will remain discontinuous and spatially heterogeneous, as a result of diverse policies and strategies.

The authors illustrate empirically the argument that the process of economic growth and technological change is not smooth and continuous. They demonstrate that various phases of economic expansion are driven by the host of interrelated clusters of technologies and that the timing of the transition from one dominant cluster to another is consistent with the pattern of Kondratieff long waves. The paper also illustrates that we are currently moving away from the old, materials- and energy-intensive development trajectory to a new future. There is a need to progressively close the industrial-ecology cycle and there are indications that this may indeed be possible, given the promotion of a range of carefully selected technological and policy measures for achieving sustainable development.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
Bibliographic Reference: Reprinted from Review; XIV(2):313-342 [Spring 1991]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:01
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 07:14
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/3496

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