Volumes of Evidence: Examining Technical Change in the Last Century Through a New Lens

38 Pages Posted: 5 May 2011

See all articles by Michelle Alexopoulos

Michelle Alexopoulos

University of Toronto - Department of Economics

Jon S. Cohen

University of Toronto - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2011

Abstract

New indicators of technical change based on titles included in the catalogue of the Library of Congress and on Amazon.com's website are presented along with evidence that they do capture technological innovation. The indicators are used to chart the pattern and nature of technical change over the last century. A strong, causal relationship is found to exist between these indicators and changes in TFP and output per capita. Moreover, innovations in some subgroups have had a greater impact on output and productivity than in others and the key players change over time. Information technologies are currently the dominant subgroup.

On prsente de nouveaux indicateurs de changement technique bass sur les titres inclus dans le catalogue de la Bibliothque du Congrs et sur le site de Amazon.com, ainsi que des rsultats qui indiquent quils saisissent linnovation technologique. Les indicateurs sont utiliss pour cartographier le pattern et la nature du changement technique au cours du dernier sicle. On trouve quil existe une relation causale forte entre ces indicateurs et les changements dans la productivit totale des facteurs et le produit per capita. De plus, des innovations dans certains sous-groupes ont eu un impact plus grand que dautres sur la production et la productivit, et les joueurs cls ont chang avec le temps. Les technologies de linformation sont pour le moment le sous-groupe dominant.

Suggested Citation

Alexopoulos, Michelle and Cohen, Jon S., Volumes of Evidence: Examining Technical Change in the Last Century Through a New Lens (May 2011). Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'conomique, Vol. 44, Issue 2, pp. 413-450, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1832147 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5982.2011.01639.x

Michelle Alexopoulos (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada

Jon S. Cohen

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada

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