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Saviotti, P.P.;Pyka, A. (2013) - Technological Forecasting and Social Change , n° Online Early Article, 14 p..

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Abstract : In this paper we explore how innovation and structural change affected economic development in the long run, by which we mean a period such as the one between the industrial revolution and the present. We separate the period since the industrial revolution into two sub periods, which we call ‘necessities’ and ‘imaginary worlds’ and focus on three trajectories, increasing productive efficiency, increasing output variety, and increasing output quality and differentiation. In the paper we show how a combination of the three trajectories gave rise to the transition between ‘necessities’ and ‘imaginary worlds’ and propose a mechanism of economic development which could have given rise to the type of economic system which we can observe today. To create growing output quality and differentiation higher competencies were required. These higher competencies required higher levels of education and demanded higher wages, which contributed to raise consumers' purchasing power. These phenomena, combined with the income effect of the creation of new sectors, generated the disposable income with which consumers could purchase the new, higher quality, non necessities, goods and services generated by innovation. In the paper we study the impact of several model parameters on the stability of the virtuous circle previously described.

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