Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

Knowledge and Technological Change in Different Schools of Economic Thought. A Brief Historical Review

Blanco Alfredo Félix, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba

The generation of knowledge and technological change, and its relation to economic issues, has been present in the works of economists since the birth of economy.The speed and depth of technological change that has developed simultaneously with the globalization process nowadays requires more than ever before to reflect critically on the way that economists have considered the creation, diffusion and adaptation of technology and innovation. A correct analysis of current capitalism requires an indispensable understanding of the dynamics of technological changes and their effects on the economy (on employment, growth and crises). For the less developed capitalist economies, innovation is fundamental to aspire to a reduction of the gap between them and the central capitalist countries. In this paper, a review of the different analytical perspectives used by economic schools throughout history to analyze the topic of technology is made. The relevance of technological changes was very different in each of these theoretical paradigms and had different levels of importance at different historical moments. The ideas of the classical economists (Smith, Ricardo, etc.), the socialists and Marx, the neo-classical school, Schumpeter’s ideas, the Keynesian view, and the debates in the "neo-classical synthesis" are analysed. The paper ends with a review of contemporary developments. A set of contributions linked to evolutionary theories emerged in the last decades of the 20th century from a "neo-schumpeterian" perspective, and highlighted the evolutionary nature of technological progress. From the perspective of the reality of the Latin American economies and linked to these developments, this paper considers the contributions that the economists of ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America) have made. The technical progress emerges as a key variable for growth, and development policies require measures to support the generation and dissemination of new technologies.


Keywords: Smith, Ricardo, Schumpeter, Marx,

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