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http://ssrn.com/abstract=870277
 
 

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Technological Progress and Regress in Pre-Industrial Times


Shekhar S. Aiyar


International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Carl‐Johan Dalgaard


University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Omer Moav


University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)


Journal of Economical Growth, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2008

Abstract:     
This paper offers micro-foundations for the dynamic relationship between technology and population in the pre-industrial world, accounting for both technological progress and the hitherto neglected but common phenomenon of technological regress. A growing population engenders the endogenous adoption of new techniques that increase the division of labor. Coversely, technological progress supports an increasing population in the Malthusian environment. A transient shock to population or productivity, however, induces the neglect of some techniques rendered temporarily unprofitable, which are therefore not transmitted to the next generation. When the shock passes, the division of labor remains constrained by the smaller stock of knowledge, and technology has thereby regressed. A slow process of rediscovery is required for the economy to reach its previous level of technological sophistication and population size. The model is employed to analyze specific historical examples of technological regress.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: Technological Regress, Technological Progress, Malthusian Stagnation, Division of Labor

JEL Classification: O10, O33, O40, J11

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Date posted: December 15, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Aiyar, Shekhar S. and Dalgaard, Carl‐Johan and Moav, Omer, Technological Progress and Regress in Pre-Industrial Times. Journal of Economical Growth, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=870277

Contact Information

Shekhar S. Aiyar
International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )
700 19th Street NW - HQ 5-403
Washington, DC 20431
United States
202-623-8638 (Phone)
Carl-Johan Lars Dalgaard (Contact Author)
University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )
Copenhagen University Library
Licenssekretariatet Nørre Alle 49
DK-2200 Copenhagen N.
Denmark
+45 3532 4407 (Phone)
Omer Moav
University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )
Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/moav
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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