Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 480 481 482 483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 511 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 10418 result(s) returned

3.1 Introduction

In this section the focus turns towards the supply side of the market, towards firms and industries, exploring the importance of costs and technological change in the organisation of production. The objective is to understand some of the different kinds of change in industrial structure, namely changes in the number and size of firms in an industry. One such change saw the emergence of Ford, initially one among many similar firms jostling for position in the US automobile industry, as the ind
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

2.2 Market demand and price

This subsection will explore the widely observed relationship between the quantity demanded of a good by consumers and the price of the good: the lower the price, the greater the quantity demanded. This relationship underlies the way in which falling prices are responsible for the rapid take-up of new products by consumers, as reported in the quotations above. We focus on the market demand curve, which represents the demand of all the consumers in a given market. However, as well as the price
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

1 Technological change, demand and costs

The new economy

Over the past 40 years global computing power has increased a billionfold. Number-crunching tasks that once took a week can now be done in seconds. Today a Ford Taurus car contains more computing power than the multimillion-dollar mainframe computers used in the Apollo space programme. Cheaper processing allows computers to be used for more and mo
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

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
    Author(s): The Open University

    License information
    Related content

    Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Acknowledgements

The material below is contained in chapter 2 of Economics and Economic Change Microeconomics (2006) (eds) Graham Dawson, Maureen Mackintosh and Paul Anand which is published by Pearson Education Limited in association with The Open University. Copyright © The Open University

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary, used under licence and not subject to Creative Commons Licence (see Author(s): The Open University

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
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

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
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

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
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

3.1 The impact of information technology

Having discussed the radical and pervasive effect that inventions in previous eras have had on economy-wide productivity, and how they have even defined entire periods, we shall now ask how the rise of information technology compares to these previous revolutions. During the early growth phase of PC use, a leader article in Fortune magazine did not hesitate to compare the rise of the PC to previous technological revolutions.

<
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

2.2 The effect of technology on productivity

In each industrial revolution, new inventions radically changed the way that production and distribution were organised, and often led to large and rapid increases in the efficiency of production. The rise of electricity, for example, allowed US productivity to increase in the manufacturing sector (as opposed to the agricultural or service sector) by more than 5 per cent per annum throughout the 1920s.

Let us pause a moment and consider what this means. The term productivity refe
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

1 Technological advancement

Everything that can be invented has been invented.

(The Commissioner of the United States Office of Patents, 1899, recommending that his office be abolished, quoted in The Economist, 2000, p. 5)

There is nothing now to be foreseen which can prevent the United States from enjoying an era of business prosperity which is entirely
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

This course takes one aspect of the debate concerning the new economy – innovation in the form of the introduction of information and communication technologies – and places it in the historical context of industrial revolutions. Is the new economy really new or ‘just another’ industrial revolution?

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

Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence.

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subj
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying sociology. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

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
    Author(s): The Open University

    License information
    Related content

    Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

The material presented here focuses on a key question for criminologists, criminal justice policy-makers and politicians: ‘Does prison work?’ The material is an audio file, originally 28 minutes in length, and examines the issues around this apparently simple criminological question. It was recorded in 1995.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in Author(s): The Open University

1 Understanding social construction and social constructionism

The audio file included in this course was designed to complement the D218 Social Policy: Welfare, Power and Diversity Open University course. It is intended to help you gain a greater understanding of the terms: social construction and social constructionism.

The audio file was recorded in 2001. It is a studio discussion between academic colleagues who examine and define social construction and social constructionism.

Participants in the discussion were:

    Author(s): The Open University

    License information
    Related content

    Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • define social construction and social constructionism.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 480 481 482 483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 511 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521