Technological innovation and the Great Depression


Technological innovation and the Great Depression

Rick Szostak

Westview Press, 1995

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 337-355) and index



Combining a theoretical approach with industry-level analysis, this work provides an explanation of the causes of the Great Depression. The author describes how the paucity of new-produce innovation, coupled with the abundance of process technology, caused both consumption and investment to fall so precipitously from early in 1929. He also explores trends in income distribution and population, as well as other factors, and argues that the lack of new-product technology meant that there were too few opportunities for entrepreneurs profitably to employ the jobless at any wage above subsistence level.


  • Part 1 The Great Depression revisited: questions unanswered
  • building a new theoretical approach - consumption and investment
  • the new theory - technological change
  • the labour market. Part 2 Industry-level analysis
  • chemicals
  • electronics
  • internal combustion
  • selected other industries
  • non-manufacturing sectors
  • summary of industry studies
  • international and regional comparisons.

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