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This volume is part of the monograph series of the New Liberal Arts Program (1980-1992), a project of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The NLA Program had the goal of assisting in the introduction of quantitative reasoning and concepts of modern technology within liberal education. The Program was based on the conviction that college graduates should have been introduced to both areas if they are to live in the social mainstream and participate in the resolution of policy issues. The Center for Mathematics and Quantitative Education is delighted to make these monographs available.



Vincent H. Smith
Montana State University

This monograph examines the major economic and policy issues that surround the development and use of new technologies. Examples from a wide variety of technologies and industries are used to illustrate the issues involved, many of which are drawn from other monographs in the NLA monograph series. In addition, the monograph is self-eontained in that all of the economic concepts that are utilized are first introduced and cxplained. The monograph is therefore weIl-suited for undergraduate economics courses that include an examination of the economics of technical change.

Among the topics covered are. decisions by firms to utilize existing technologies, consequences of government intervention in the process of technical change, implications of technical innovation for the economic welfare of diffcrent groups in society, the extent of direct government support and subsidies for research and development in the U.S., the usefulness of benefit cost analysis and technology assessment, and examination of the question of whether or not the recent world wide slowdown in the rate of economic and productivity growth has been caused by a slowdown in the rate of technical change.

This volume makes a lot of use of summation notation and reading and interpretation of graphs of algebraic relationships. Discussion questions are included with each chapter, although most are not of a quantitative nature.