Determinants of the Speed of Application of New Technology

  • Edwin Mansfield
Part of the International Economic Association Conference Volumes, Numbers 1–50 book series (IEA)


Technological change is a fundamental factor in the development of the poorer countries, in the growth of the industrialised countries, and in the improvement of the well-being of all mankind. It is a tremendously powerful force that, used with wisdom, can promote great strides in man’s welfare. What are the basic factors that influence how rapidly new technology is applied? This is a very important question, and one that has been in the forefront of discussion and controversy in recent years. There has been a widespread feeling in many countries that new technology is being applied at an inappropriate rate — too slowly in the eyes of most, too rapidly in the eyes of some. Consequently, there has been considerable interest among economists, scientists, technologists and policy makers in the determinants of the speed of application of new technology. My purpose in this paper is to discuss the basic factors influencing the speed of application of new technology, the emphasis being on industrialised countries and much of the material being drawn from experience in the United States.


Technological Change Small Firm Large Firm Numerical Control Mail Survey 
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  1. 4.
    John Kenneth Galbraith, American Capitalism (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1952), p. 91.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin Mansfield
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaUSA

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