Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 66: Electronics, Economic Growth and Employment – Revolution or Evolution

Gunnar Eliasson
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Gunnar Eliasson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Abstract: The "new electronics technology" in its various manifestations has been very much in the limelight during recent years. It has been associated with future mass unemployment or scary visions of a Brave New World, a grand discontinuity in economic and cultural development. Governments are worried about the effects of the same technology on the international competitiveness of their industries and public investigative committees abound among the western industrialized countries. Some economists regard microelectronics as the new technology that will generate the next Kontradieff cycle. The vast attention paid to this technological phenomenon in itself warrants a serious inquiry into its potential macroeconomic implications even though much of the speculation around it may seem farfetched to the majority of professional economists.

Keywords: Microelectronics; R&D; Technological change; Employment

JEL-codes: E24; L63; O30

40 pages, May 1982

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