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References

Arber, S. and Ginn, J. (1995) Connecting Gender and Ageing, Buckingham, Open University Press.
Bardasi, E. and Jenkins, S. (2002) Income in Later Life: Work History Matters, Bristol, Policy Press and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Blackburn, R. (2002) Banking on Death or, Investing in Life: The History and Future of Pensions, London, Verso.
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5 Conclusion

As we have seen, pensions are both inherently personal and political. Pensions and other social policies are heavily implicated in shaping the way older people experience their personal lives, and the way in which these personal lives have become constructed as ‘other’. Providing a means by which older lives could be ‘divided up’ and divided out of the domain of paid employment, and reconstituted through the arena of public and private welfare, this process is also informed by differe
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3.2 The 1908 Pensions Act and the inter-war years: counting age and discounting older workers

The 1908 Pensions Act represented the first time welfare interventions in older age were based on chronological age. It set the pension age at 70 years. Prior to this, although chronological age was often noted in Poor Law records, it did not constitute the basis of eligibility. Rather, age, and older age specifically, was constructed in terms of particular forms of embodiment, with older people being defined as those whose bodies were ‘past’ work, ‘worn out’ by work or ‘too frail
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2.3 Older lives and elder care homes: care and control

The de facto constitution of workhouses as ‘older’ spaces can be viewed as representing a precursor to public elder care homes as these developed later in the twentieth century. Indeed, the numbers of older people in such care homes today remains consistent with the 5 per cent of older people inhabiting workhouses at the end of the nineteenth century (Midwinter, 1997). Constituted as sites of care rather than control, these homes have nonetheless been subject to considerable critical scru
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3.6 Population policy

The period of fertility decline in Britain coincided with a time when anxieties about population control came to dominate a wide range of debates about social policy. These debates originated in two different theories of population: Malthusian ideas about overpopulation and eugenics – the ‘science’ of selective breeding.

An Essay on the Principle of Population by Reverend Thomas Malthus, published in 1798, argued that populations would inevitably increase more rapidl
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References

The Economist (2000) 'Supplement: The new economy: untangling e-conomics', 23 September.
The Economist (2001) 21 July, p. 86.
Fisher, F. and Rubinfeld, D. (2000) 'United States v. Microsoft: an economic analysis', Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper No. 30, UC Berkeley School of Law, Calif., at http://papers.ssrn.com (accessed September 2001).
<
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5 Conclusion

The idea of the double whammy brings together the two driving forces behind changes in industrial structure, with which this course opened and now closes. The use of a new technology causes a decline in the costs of production, which in turn encourages a rapid take-up by consumers of products embodying the new technology. This course has explored the factors affecting consumer demand. While the price of the product was found to be of crucial importance, socio-economic influences such as cultu
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • appreciate the importance of technological change, costs of production and consumer preferences to the changing organisation of production

  • understand the relation between the quantity demanded of a good and its price as represented by the demand curve

  • understand economic models of the relation between firms’ costs and output

  • analyse the role of technology and costs in influencing in
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References

Abernathy, W.J., Clark, K. and Kantrow, A. (1983) Industrial Renaissance: Producing a Competitive Future for America, Basic Books, New York.
Berndt, E.R. and Rappaport, N. (2000) ‘Price and quality of desktop and mobile personal computers: a quarter century of history’, paper presented at the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Summer Institute 2000 session on ‘Price, Output and Productivity Measurem
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Questions for review and discussion

Question 9

Suppose a firm uses 200 hours of labour per day and produces 4000 mobile phones. It then reduces its labour inputs to 100 hours per day and finds it can produce 3000 phones. Which one of the following is a c
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5 Conclusion

This chapter has enabled you to think about the essential role of technological change in determining economy-wide growth and the growth of firms and industries. We have seen that many issues surrounding the new economy are really issues around the dynamics of technological change: rapid increases in productivity, the emergence of many small firms, new products and new processes, and so on. The main lesson of the course has been to provide a historical perspective to the introduction of new t
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4.7 The future?

In the USA, the automobile reached the 50 per cent household penetration rate in 1923, about 23 years into the industry's development. The PC reached that threshold rate in 1999, also about 23 years into its development. Given the discussion in Section 3, this suggests that the economy-wide effects of the PC have yet to
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4.6 Changes in industry structure

How did the turbulence caused by new firms entering and leaving the industry, radical technological change and falling prices affect the overall industry structure? The term ‘industry structure’ refers mainly to the way in which power is distributed among firms. This can be described by factors such as the number of firms in the industry and the distribution of market shares (the market share of a firm is its share of total industry production expressed as a percentage).

An i
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4.2 The industry life cycle

The comparison between the automobile industry and the PC industry makes sense only if we concentrate on similar periods in their evolution. We will concentrate here on the ‘early’ development of both industries, in what will be called the ‘introductory’ and ‘early growth’ phases in their life cycles. This is the period running from 1900 to 1930 in the automobile industry and from 1975 to 2000 in the PC industry. The automobile industry refers here to all firms producing cars and
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4.1 Introduction

As you have now seen, the concept of the ‘new economy’ has inspired a number of studies that compare the effect that new technologies have had on economy-wide productivity in previous eras with the effect that IT has – or has not yet – had in the current era. I shall now ask another question, still along the lines of ‘what's new in the new economy?’, but this time from a more microeconomic perspective, which focuses on the individual firm and industry rather than on the whole econ
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3.3 A summary

I have shown that, while IT has no doubt had an impact on productivity, it is not clear whether this goes beyond the IT-producing sector, or whether the gains will outlast the boom period of the business cycle. With so much debate, whom should we believe? Perhaps, as is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The optimistic view highlights the way that IT has transformed society, and how this transformation has in many instances led to growth through the productivity-enhancing
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1 The purpose, efficacy and regulation of prisons

Richard Sparks presents a series of views about the purpose, efficacy and regulation of prisons. The audio programme was recorded in 2001.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • Richard Sparks Professor of Criminology at the University of Keele and is now Professor of Criminology at the University of Edinburgh;

  • Rod Morgan Professor of Criminal Justice at Bristol University;

  • Larry Viner a Londo
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • define social construction and social constructionism.


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Introduction

This course will help you understand the expressions social construction and social constructionism. These terms are used in the study of the Social Sciences and, in particular, in relation to Social Policy. The materials are primarily an audio file, originally 28 minutes in length and recorded in 2001.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Author(s): The Open University

Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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