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Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Economic Review
Are we living in the middle of an Industrial Revolution?
Joel Mokyr
Abstract

The concept of a new Industrial Revolution has recently become of great interest to general economists of all persuasions. For example, the New Growth Theory has placed renewed emphasis on the importance of technological change in modern economic growth, and a number of authors have suggested that we are entering a new period of technological advances that could profoundly affect the world economy. ; In an article based on comments at the Tenth District Monetary Policy Roundtable, Mr. Mokyr looks at the events of our time in relation to events of the British Industrial Revolution. He cautions that the temptation to look at the past to guide us in making predictions and policy recommendations should be resisted. Historical analogies often mislead as much as they instruct, and in technological progress, where change is unpredictable, cumulative, and irreversible, the analogies are more dangerous than anywhere.


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Joel Mokyr, "Are we living in the middle of an Industrial Revolution?" , Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Economic Review, issue Q II, pages 31-43, 1997.
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Keywords: Technology ; Economic history ; Economic conditions - United States
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