Recent Advances in Neo-Schumpeterian Economics

Recent Advances in Neo-Schumpeterian Economics

Essays in Honour of Horst Hanusch

Edited by Andreas Pyka, Uwe Cantner, Alfred Greiner and Thomas Kuhn

This judicious selection of recent essays demonstrates the applicability of the fundamental principles of neo-Schumpeterian economics, namely, innovation and uncertainty. The authors demonstrate how neo-Schumpeterian economics is developing into a comprehensive economic theory encompassing industry, the public sector and financial markets.

Chapter 2: Energy, Development and the Environment: An Appraisal Three Decades After the ‘Limits to Growth’ Debate

Giovanni Dosi and Marco Grazzi

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


* Giovanni Dosi and Marco Grazzi INTRODUCTION 1. This work builds upon some long-term secular regularities concerning the relation between consumption of energy, technological progress and economic growth, and reassesses the old question raised around 40 years ago in the ‘limits to growth’ discussion (Meadows et al., 1972), namely, are the current patterns of development, and in particular the current patterns of energy use, environmentally sustainable? Without the ambition to offer any conclusive answer, in this work we try to identify some critical interpretative issues and suggest some (admittedly controversial) policy conclusions. Departing points are: (a) the long-term substitution of inanimate sources of energy for animate, starting at least with the English Industrial Revolution, (b) a slowly decreasing – on a shorter time scale – trend of energy intensity per unit of output, at least in developed countries, as the joint outcome of total energy consumption which continues to increase (IEA, 2005), and at the same time more efficient exploitation of energy itself (Grüber and Nakićenović, 1996, see also Figure 2.3). The topics we shall address are the following: 1. The environmental sustainability of patterns of energy consumption that for so long have implied the notion of the environment as a free good, without any negative social externalities and even less so any environmental threat. The importance – and limits – of relative price changes with respect to the dynamics of consumption of energy. The role of fundamental discontinuities between different ‘technological paradigms’. 34 2. 3. Energy, development and the environment 35 Given...

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