Technological Change and Economic Growth 1750 - 1900 Why Great Britain Was Superior to Other European Countries in Perspective of Technology Development? Essay Example

Pages: 8 (2692 words) Published: May 2, 2011
We can start from sentence that Great Britain with whole confidence was the country which technology dominated on international market in the time of first and second Industrial Revolution. There is no doubt that economical growth of it definitely made it superior to other countries. Why it happened to be like this? We can mention right away few reasons for that state, namely geographical localization and communication made it not only independent from Continental problems but also derived fresh ideas and solutions. Moreover political system made government to care deeply about property rights of Britain citizens, what encouraged them even more for being innovative. In economical and social perspective dominating factors are practical skills of labour force and openness for foreign technical abilities despite of inventors social and religious status. Nevertheless it is not enough, so in further part of this essay there is enclosured explanation for that situation. We have to treat technology as a phenomenon determined by many factors, not only ability of human for being creative and practical. Following this thought it is crucial to start from trying firstly to understand technology in general, elaborating topic by factors which made Great Britain economy dominating to other European countries, finishing with specified innovations which made Britain economy grow.

We can say that statements like “necessity is the mother of invention” do not have really sense in this context. On the contrary we can say that “invention is the mother of necessity” given the fact that new technologies often give rise to unrecognised desires. The demand for technology is derived because it depends on demand of goods and services that technology helps to produce. Technology change is principally produced because of new ideas that are born in a way that is difficult to predetermine and completely understand. It can be that demand focuses the direction of these new ideas, but is sure that it does not determine the creativity of societies. Cannot be said that demand is not important in this context, but that there are not going to be a symmetry between supply and demand in the production of technological progress. By 1700 Europe was already richer than non European countries, one explanation of that is technological progress. Technology influences a lot the income of the states and its success. Technology and its development is a really complex thing to explain and understand. This complexity derives because of the cultural influence. For existing technology development we need a cultural predisposition and preparation that does not occur in all societies. Investing in technology is also expensive. In the period of the Industrial revolution there were a lot of things that make this kind of research difficult, such as, high costs, a groups of individuals willing to absorb large risks and wait a lot of years for the pay off, etc. Risk aversion and leisure preference are thus what determine the rate of innovation in a particular society. The total cost of adopting a new technique consists of two parts: private costs paid by investors and the social costs paid by society as a whole. Social costs usually exceeded the private costs. There is nothing natural and inevitable about technological progress. Most societies experienced that , but only the West was able to transform it in a mechanism of continuous expansion. Technologically creative societies in the past and in the present create “free lunch” benefits. At the end, it all depends on the combination of luck, brilliance and perseverance. Nevertheless in every society exists a need of stability. The sentiment more representative of this is “ if it ain't broke, don't fix it”, the arch-enemy of technological progress. Technological conservatism refers to the tendency to adopt a certain technique only because it happened to be used in a previous period. On the collective level it is possible for...
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