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The Economic Future in Historical Perspective$
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Paul A. David and Mark Thomas

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263471

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263471.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 23 September 2019

General Purpose Technologies and Surges in Productivity: Historical Reflections on the Future of the ICT Revolution

General Purpose Technologies and Surges in Productivity: Historical Reflections on the Future of the ICT Revolution

Chapter:
(p.134) (p.135) 4. General Purpose Technologies and Surges in Productivity: Historical Reflections on the Future of the ICT Revolution
Source:
The Economic Future in Historical Perspective
Author(s):

Paul A. David

Gavin Wright

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263471.003.0005

This chapter analyses the relationship between the diffusion of general purpose technologies (GPTs) and surges in the growth of productivity. It first explores the dynamics of GPT diffusion by considering the generic and differentiating aspects of the US experience with industrial electrification and in comparison with that of the UK and Japan. It then discusses the analogies and contrasts between the historical case of a socio-economic regime transition involving the electric dynamo and the modern experience of the information and communications technology (ICT).

Keywords:   general purpose technologies, GPTs, productivity, industrial electrification information and communications technology, ICT

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