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A Not-so-dismal ScienceA Broader View of Economies and Societies$
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Mancur Olson and Satu Kähköhnen

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294900

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294905.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.61) 2 Innovation and Its Enemies: The Economic and Political Roots of Technological Inertia
Source:
A Not-so-dismal Science
Author(s):

Joel Mokyr

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198294905.003.0003

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

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