Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics

Posted: 4 Nov 2009

Date Written: 1982


Explores how technological innovation has shaped and been shaped by science, industry, and economics in the twentieth century. Technological change and specific technologies have impacted productivity, the learning process, technology transfer and technology policies. Starting with a summary of historical literature on technical progress, the book goes on to discuss and promote Karl Marx's influential method of studying technology as the result of interrelated social processes -- especially emphasizing the mutual interaction between technology and the economy. Analysis of current empirical studies shows the need for an enlarged framework for understanding the relation between the economy and technical change. Technological interdependence in the American economy is analyzed, and later expanded to encompass international business. High-tech industries are discussed as particularly reliant upon scientific research. The commercial aircraft industry from 1925-75 is also examined, as an exemplary instance in which technological innovation and government support and regulation allowed for economic success. The book concludes that scientific progress is heavily influenced by technological considerations that are, in turn, shaped by industry and economics. Thus, decisions made in the private and public sectors should affect both supply and demand, favoring the creative, mutually advantageous connection between science and technology. (CJC)

Keywords: Economics of innovation, Innovation policies, Productivity growth, Interindustry relations, Government-industry relations, Technology transfer, Technology policies, High technology industries, Aircraft industry, Technological change, Science, National economies

Suggested Citation

Rosenberg, Nathan, Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics (1982). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

Nathan Rosenberg (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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