Patterns of Change: Technological Substitution and Long Waves in the United States

Nakicenovic, N. ORCID: (1986). Patterns of Change: Technological Substitution and Long Waves in the United States. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-86-013

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Economic development and the advancement of technology is presented as a process of substituting old forms of satisfying human needs by new ones or, more precisely, as a sequence of such substitutions. The examples, reconstructed from historical records. describe the quantitative, technological changes in energy consumption, steel production and merchant marine in the United States.

Logistic substitution analysis is used to capture the dynamics and regularity of these technological changes. It is shown that technological substitution analysis describes fundamental structural changes that lead to new economic patterns and forms. The emerging patterns of technological and economic changes during the last two to three centuries are shown to portray periodic recurrences at intervals of about half a century. In this sense, the technological substitution processes are related to the long swings in economic development because they identify and describe major and periodic fluctuations in tire historical rate of technological change and accordingly also the secular changes in the rate of economic growth.

A phenomenological approach is adopted to indicate the evidence for the invariance and logical order in the sequence of technological changes and long wave fluctuations.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Dynamics of Technology Program (DOT)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:57
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:12

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