By Joel Mokyr, Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History, Northwestern University – and Sackler Professor, (by spec. appnt.)
Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University.
What is the future of innovation? In the past it has often been asserted that “everything that can be invented already has been” and that all the “easy inventions” have been made. Hence, it is alleged, in the future inventions will become increasingly hard and costly, and the rate of technological progress (and with it economic growth) will slow down. Looking at the main factors determining technological progress in the past, however, legitimate doubts can be cast on the slow-down hypothesis and it seems more plausible that at least in terms of technological change, the best is yet to come.
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