European Business Schools Librarian's Group

Working Papers,
Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness

The creative response in economic development: the case of information processing technologies in US manufacturing, 1870-1930

Andreas Reinstaller () and Werner Hölzl ()
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Andreas Reinstaller: MERIT - Maastricht University
Werner Hölzl: Vienna University of Economics & B.A.

Abstract: This paper presents a theoretical framework along "Classical" lines in which Schumpeter's concept of "Creative Response" is linked to a theory of induced innovation and the concept of technological regimes. We devote particular attention to the role of indivisibilities between factors of production. On the basis of this framework, we study the adoption of early information technologies, such as typewriters, calculators or Hollerith machines in US manufacturing in the period between 1870 and 1930. We show how the presence of a distinct bias in technical change in US manufacturing led to the opening of a window of opportunity for early information technologies, and how the presence of this bias influenced the technological search and adoption process of firms and how this found its final reflection in the rules and heuristics of the new regimemulation is found.

Keywords: Technological regimes; systemic innovation; adoption of technologies; path dependence; information technology 1870-1930

JEL-codes: D24; N60; O31; O33; L69 June 2001

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