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4.2.2 Figure 9b: A selection of 35 mm digital cameras

Figure 9b
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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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4.5 Technological change

In both industries the fall in prices was driven by radical changes in the production of the products. How might we investigate the technological changes and the changes in quality that occurred in both industries simultaneously with the drastic fall in prices? There are various methods used by economists to measure technological change. Some methods focus on the ‘inputs’ into the innovation process, such as the spending on research and development by firms. But this is not ideal as it do
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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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4.3 Live fast, die young

Both the automobile and PC industries were characterised by a great deal of turbulence in the first 20 to 30 years of their existence. In both cases, many new firms entered the industry, introduced new varieties of the product, and soon left the industry, leaving only a few dozen firms to compete during the growth phase. By 1926 only 33 per cent of the firms that had started producing automobiles during the previous 22 years had survived. In the case of PCs, by 1999 only 20 per cent of the fi
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3.2 Is productivity sustainable?

Are the recent increases in productivity sustainable? The answer to this question, and the crux of the debate concerning the effect of IT, centres on distinguishing whether recent increases in productivity are just cyclical, and hence temporary, or whether they are the beginning of a new and long-lasting trend. If the increase in productivity in the USA in the late 1990s was cyclical, this means that it occurred simply because the US economy as a whole was undergoing a bo
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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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Introduction

This unit 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 unit is an adapted extract from the course Economics and economic change (
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

This extract is taken from D315: Crime, order and social control, produced by the BBC on behalf of the Open University.

© 2007 The Open University.

Unit Im
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1 The politics of racial violence in Britain

Paul Gordon presents a series of views about the politics of racial violence in Britain. The audio programme was recorded in 1995.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • Paul Gordon member of The Runnymede Trust (race relations organisation);

  • Satnam Virdee researcher at the Policy Studies Institute;

  • Suresh Grover;

  • Barnor Hesse.

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Introduction

The material presented here focuses on the politics of racial violence in Britain. The material is an audio file, originally 30 minutes in length, and examines the issues around this subject. It was recorded in 1995.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Crime, order and social control (D315) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this Author(s): The Open University

1.3.1 Introduction

You can find a lot of information about society on the internet.

To find this information you might choose to use:

  • internet resources;

  • search engines and subject gateways;

  • books and electronic books;

  • databases;

  • journals;

  • encyclopedias.


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1.2.3 Basic principles

Whatever resource you choose to use to find information on the internet, many of the same principles apply. Each source that you use will probably look quite different from the one you tried before, but you'll notice that there are always features that are similar – a box to type your search terms in, for instance, or a clickable help button. Different resources refer to the same functions using different terminology, but the principles behind them are exactly the same. The trick is to chec
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1.1.3 Searching for information on society

How well does the following statement match what you do when you begin a new search for information?

Before I begin a new search for information [maybe for an assignment, or to help you choose your next holiday destination], I spend some time thinking about what I already know, what the gaps in my knowledge are, and the best types of information to meet my needs.

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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 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) for permission to use the book which has been adapted for Op
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2.2 Postscript

A headline-grabbing weekend of ‘midsummer madness’, when six murders occurred in (parts of) Glasgow over the weekend of 5–6 August 1995, reinforced the ongoing nature of contestation and debate about the issues discussed in the programme. As noted in The Scotsman (8 August 1995), the legacy of the imagery of No Mean City was quickly resurrected by the press – for example, ‘a darker side to that much-vaunted transformation of Glasgow from No Mean City to Culture City’
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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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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • appreciate different understandings of the new economy;

  • understand claims about the benefits and costs of the new economy.


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