This book examines long-run technological change and the complex set of interrelated phenomena which can be grouped under the heading of ‘innovative processes’. The authors refer to a broad notion of the technological system and propose an original methodology to ensure consistent empirical analysis. The book aims to explain, rather than merely identify, the effects of technological change. It does so by promoting the analysis of intersectoral innovation flows as a way to investigate the nature of technological change. At both the macro and sectoral level, institutional and structural elements are considered along with more standard technological and industrial variables. International comparisons are carried out on a systematic basis for a set of OECD countries, plus a focus on two important industrial sectors (motor vehicles and chemicals). The authors find that institutional arrangements (such as models of capitalism) turn out to play an important role in shaping both the internal and external relationships of macro technological systems. Moreover, the structure and performance of an industry is shaped by the broader techno-economic elements of the relevant sectoral technological system.
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