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The Lever of RichesTechnological Creativity and Economic Progress$
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Joel Mokyr

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195074772

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195074772.001.0001

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Understanding Technological Progress

Understanding Technological Progress

(p.151) Chapter Seven Understanding Technological Progress
The Lever of Riches

Joel Mokyr

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows which factors on the aggregate level help determine the propensity of a member of a society to invent, and which factors make others want to adopt his or her inventions. It examines some factors that operated, consciously or otherwise, on the minds and actions of individuals in their lonely struggles with the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology. The chapter notes that although the physical and social environment is important in determining the actions of individuals, it is not solely responsible for the outcome. It lays out a series of explanations ranging from life expectancy, nutrition, geographical environment, science, and technology, to religion from institutions, values, and mentalitiés.

Keywords:   inventions, laws of physics, chemistry, biology, physical environment, social environment

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