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3.3 Long-run costs and economies of scale

What makes it possible to offer more output for sale at a lower price? That was one of the questions with which Section 3.2 opened. Part of the answer is that the firm's cost curves, which reflect the technology it is using, may display falling average cost as output increases over a range of output levels. The other part
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2.1 Industry and markets: what do we mean?

Case study: Digital outsells film

Sales of digital cameras have overtaken traditional 35 mm cameras for the first time. According to monthly figures collated by national electric and photo retailer Dixons, digital camera sales out
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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 more purposes. In 1985, it cost Ford
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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 Measure
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4.4 Prices and industrial change

Many of the new entrants entered by introducing a new variation of the product. In fact, the early period in both industries was characterised by much technological change in the form of product innovation. Once a product standard emerged, product and process innovations around that standard led to a drastic fall in the product price in both industries. We will now look at some of the indicators of this turbulence in technology and prices.

How can we look at price changes over time in i
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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
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1.1.2 Key resources

When you need to find information in society, how confident are you that you know the best places to search (e.g. search engines, subject gateways, online databases, etc.) to find the information you need?

  • 5 – Very confident

  • 4 – Confident

  • 3 – Fairly confident

  • 2 – Not very confident

  • 1 – Not confident at all

How familiar are you with journal articles
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Acknowledgements

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to use the following photographs in this unit:

Figure 2 Riveter based on the cover of the exhibition catalogue for ‘Clydebuilt: The River, its Ships and its People’, organised by the Clyde Maritime Trust Ltd.;

Figure 3 Glasgow Herald/Caledonian Newspapers Limited;

Figure 4 Mr Happy adaptation: Mr Men and Little Miss™ and © 1995 Mrs Roger Hargreaves; (all) Courtesy: City of Glasgow;

Figu
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1.2 The hard side of Glasgow

Prior to its currently projected image of dynamism, Glasgow was regarded as the place which best illustrated all that was wrong with the modern industrial city: ‘Once called the “second city of the British Empire” because of its size and industrial might, Glasgow had sunk so low that even the locals disdained it’ (Bryson, 1989).

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References

Cohen, S. (2001) States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering, Cambridge, Polity Press.
Ritchin, F. (1989) ‘What is Magnum?’ in Manchester, W (ed.) In Our Time, London, Andre Deutsch.

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3 Making photographs that make demands: stories from the oil industry

There are strong links between the audio files in Activity 2 and the series of photographs in Activity 1. The discus
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2.2 Activity 1: Bob Ballantyne

electrician – Piper survivor – community education worker

Figure 1
© Owen Logan ©
© Owen Logan

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3.1 Introduction

As well as looking at the behaviour of firms and the industries and markets to which they belong, economists also engage in a different style of inquiry, thinking about what economic change means for the lives of the people involved. Once again there is a variety of interpretations and different ideas but this time they concern the desirability of economic change. What benefits does the ‘new economy’ bring and what costs, or negative effects, does it impose on people? In analysing these b
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5.4 ‘The desire to give politico-institutional expression to the first two core concepts

There is a strong case for regarding the third element in the ‘core structure’ of nationalism as the key one. Generally, as we have seen, nationalists want their nation to have a state, or statehood. But political self-determination might have other outlets.

From the comparatively ‘soft’ demands to harder and less compromising ones, the spectrum might consist of some form of:

  • recognition of the cultural distinctiveness of a ‘na
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6.2 Contesting ideologies

Much social science analysis has been devoted to exploring the variants and consequences of this simple view of ideology, including capitalist ideology, which legitimates the interests of owners of capital against the working class; patriarchal ideology, which legitimates the interests of men against women; and racist ideology, which legitimates the interests of dominant ethnic groups against others – most evidently in the ideology of apartheid in South Africa. However, this simple and func
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5.3 Summary

Common sense is a complex and contested phenomenon. The practice of systematic scepticism is a key aspect of social science, particularly in the analysis of common sense and the consideration of the social construction of social problems. Social constructionism emphasises the importance of social expectations in the analysis of taken-for-granted and apparently natural social processes. It starts by exploring the assumptions associated with the naming or labelling of things. It is sceptical ab
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4.3 Summary

In this section we have tried to sketch some of the main lines of division in social constructions of social issues. The distinction between the natural and the social in constructing the causes that underlie social issues is a profound and recurrent one. A ‘social’ orientation involves the construction of social causes and conditions as the explanations for social issues. However, it is also important to bear in mind that such an orientation will itself be complicated by differences of p
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3.1 Competing explanations of social problems

If we can agree that poverty is a social problem, we are led to another question: what sort of social problem is it? For some, it is a social problem because people should not be poor: it involves social injustice. For others, poverty is a social problem because poor people behave badly (or bring up children poorly): it involves social disorder. We therefore have another parting of the ways, with some believing that social justice requires poor people to become less poor, and others believing
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Introduction

Requires that Windows desktop be used in parallel with reading the book.

Tables and charts are a great way to present numerical information in a clear and concise form. This course explains how to use the Windows calculator to carry out basic operations and calculate percentages. You will then learn how to use charts and tables to represent and interpret information.

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

4.9 Making it move

To me, there is a wonderful quality of timelessness about Vermeer's picture of the young woman at her harpsichord. It captures a tranquil moment, frozen for eternity. But of course our visual world is not like that at all. It is dynamic, seething with motion. And schoolchildren have known how to create the illusion of movement since time immemorial. Riffling quickly through a little ‘flick book’ under the desk, with each page showing one step in a moving sequence, as in Author(s): The Open University

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