THE ECONOMICS OF TECHNOLOGY
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