تغییرات زیربنایی و توسعه اقتصادی سکولار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|6945||2008||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9809 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 75, Issue 6, July 2008, Pages 799–816
Long-term economic development is determined by changes to the infrastructure, especially material and non-material infrastructural networks that link agents in different locations. The infrastructure consists of the slowly changing, collective arena that supports production, exchange, and consumption, such as the built environment, transport networks, and institutions. In the short run the infrastructure can be regarded as fixed. Changes to the infrastructure are under normal conditions small enough to be disregarded by producers and consumers. With the creation of a critical link of a network, there will however be a revolutionary restructuring of the arena. Critical links are here defined as additions to infrastructural networks that create opportunities for new information and transport flows between previously unconnected regions. Such a revolutionary restructuring of infrastructural networks has been called a logistical revolution. Certain institutional pre-conditions are necessary for a logistical revolution, while the creation of a critical link is both a necessary and a sufficient condition. This paper discusses the three logistical revolutions that occurred in the 13th century, around 1600, and in the 19th century, which each had crucial similarities with the current “information revolution.”
The games of both markets and politics take place on an arena. The arena facilitates certain types of actions and decisions, while making others more difficult. The possibility to predict what will occur in markets and political decision-making depends on our ability to identify long-term changes to the arena. What matters in the long run are the slowly changing factors that have collective impacts on individuals and firms. We refer to these slowly changing, collective, factors as the infrastructure of a society. The infrastructure does not only comprise roads, railways, and other durable physical assets, but also the soft (non-material) infrastructure of legal systems, common values, and shared knowledge. While this definition of the infrastructure may create the impression that it includes much of what is usually seen as ‘exogenous’ to the economic system, such an impression is mistaken. The infrastructure is both collective and durable in relation to the space and time period of the economic phenomenon that is being studied. For example, if the space–time combination of interest is the US economy in the 1970s, then the relevant infrastructure does not include more rapidly changing collective phenomena such as legislated budget expenditures, trade fairs, fashions or news, nor does it include more durable phenomena that only apply to a subset of the collective, such as firm-level institutions and private housing. What is included in the relevant infrastructure is the set of inclusive, longer-term entities such as the legal system, the voting system, the English language and the road network. Economic development always takes place on an arena of hard and soft infrastructures. The soft infrastructure is made up of generally accessible knowledge (e.g., a shared spoken language and writing system, technological know-how, and organization practices), political and legal systems, and informal rules of behavior. The hard, physical, infrastructure mainly consists of the built environment, and transport and communication networks, which link producers and consumers in different locations to one another. In economic development analyses, it has become conventional to treat the infrastructure as a constant factor for the relevant forecasting or planning period. This treatment seems self-evident to a short-term empirical economist, in the same way that an actor considers the theatre and its stage to be a constant, unchanging, environment. And such an arena perspective is appropriate for a five-year or ten-year economic forecasting and planning period. In long-term contexts, however, infrastructural changes become decisive and must be included in any meaningful analysis. The cumulative growth (or decay) of the infrastructure in the course of a century is substantial enough to completely transform the conditions for production and exchange.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of the brief survey of the logistical revolutions is to draw attention to a number of common features of logistical revolutions. Each restructuring has had similar causes and consequences: • They were caused by a slow but persistent expansion of the infrastructure. Usually it involved improved opportunities for transport, knowledge and information search, contracting, and other economic transactions. The restructuring was triggered by a phase transition of the transport and communications networks which resulted in much lower unit transport and transaction costs for inter-regionally traded goods and services. • Major expansions of trade occur when transport and transaction costs have been reduced on centrally located and therefore globally critical links. Such improvements to the transport and transaction systems even caused peripheral regions to achieve improved opportunities for trading with the centre and other peripheral regions. • The expansion of an integrated trading system to encompass new regions increases the advantages of specialization in accordance with the relative local supply of immobile production factors, including technological know-how. • Some regions have their greatest comparative advantages in producing goods that primarily require good general accessibility and only to a limited extent need land and other natural resources. This means that production, employment, and housing can locate jointly in cities. Other regions have their greatest comparative advantages in producing goods that need greater inputs of land and natural resources, thereby retaining a sparsely inhabited rural character. • Since every logistical revolution has entailed increased specialization, there has always been a concomitant growth in the number of cities and the total urban population. • Every logistical revolution has entailed the discovery of new resources, new technologies, and new products. This has given rise to unusually protracted periods of monopolization and unusually high profits. These temporary (but protracted) monopolies have enabled entrepreneurs to amass great fortunes. • The nouveaux riches have been viewed contemptuously by the privileged group of the preceding era. This contempt encourages attempts to legitimize the new-found wealth. A common strategy has been to support science and art. There are striking similarities between Lorenzo di Medici of the First Logistical Revolution, Alfred Nobel of the Third Logistical Revolution, and Bill Gates of the Fourth Logistical Revolution. All have used their wealth to achieve social recognition. Industrial society sowed the seeds of its own demise. The combination of railways, new steam-powered ships, and big enterprises with factory production amounted to a recipe for success. The profits could be used to further extend industrialization by means of ports, ships, railways, and trains. But it was frequently more advantageous to search for previously inaccessible natural resources, which could only with great difficulty be reached with canals or new railway lines. Roads, and the newly developed motor vehicles, were much more suitable for reaching natural resources in mountainous or remote areas. Beginning in the 1920s, it became more profitable to make cars and roads rather than to extend the railway network any farther. The long-term effect of this shift, although imperceptible at first, would be that the arena of industrialism would be superseded by a new arena. The benefits associated with large-scale manufacturing and large-scale shipping gradually dwindled and society became increasingly decentralized. The arena of industrial society was also reshaped by changes to the infrastructure for transmitting knowledge and information. During the Industrial Revolution, messages were transported in the same way as regular goods. News was disseminated by mail, newspapers, and journals that were transported by rail or sea and distributed by mail carriers. More advanced knowledge entailed personal trips by train or passenger ship at great cost and sacrifice of time and comfort. The information flows coincided with the nodes and links of the rail and sea networks. The spatial organization of firms was therefore also constrained by the shape of the networks. For the sake of efficiency, it became necessary to co-ordinate knowledge and information at the same location as the production of goods took place. Large corporate headquarters adjoined large manufacturing plants and chains of command were typically hierarchical, unidirectional, and slow. The benefits from a more flexible transmission of information were obvious. Rothschild had already used pigeons for the purpose of transmitting information about the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo. But pigeons were nonetheless unwieldy and unreliable information carriers. An important breakthrough in the technology of disembodied information transmission was the invention of telegraphy, which led to the construction of the first telegraph line in Britain in 1837. But simultaneous information exchange was only possible with the establishment of a telephone network in the last decades of the nineteenth century. And it was a new way of using the telephone network that became one of the constituent causes of the Fourth Logistical Revolution almost a century later.