Summary of "The Economics of Hope: Essays on Technical Change, Economic Growth and the Environment"

 

Summary of

The Economics of Hope: Essays on Technical Change, Economic Growth and the Environment

By Christopher Freeman

Summary written by T.A. O'Lonergan, Conflict Research Consortium


Citation: The Economics of Hope: Essays on Technical Change, Economic Growth and the Environment, Christopher Freeman, (New York: Pinter Publishers, 1992), 243 pp.


The Economics of Hope: Essays on Technical Change, Economic Growth and the Environment will be of interest to those who seek to understand the limitations of purely economic considerations for evaluation of proposed economic growth. This work is divided into three parts, the first of which addresses policies for allocation of resources to scientific and technical activities. The first chapter discusses JD Bernal's book, The Social Function of Science. Freeman moves from here to a discussion of science and economy at the national level. He closes the section with an examination of the relationship between design activities and Britain's competitive international trade performance.

The second part addresses the theory of innovation and evolutionary economics. The author begins with a discussion of the nature of innovation and the evolution of the productive system. Next, networks of innovators are examined. Finally, the author discusses the relationship between innovations and changes in the techno-economic paradigm, and the use of biological analogies in economics.

The final part focuses on the proposed effects of the inclusion of values as a consideration in decisions about economic growth. Freeman begins with a response to Robert Heilbroner's book Human Prospect. The author proposes the adoption of a green techno-economic paradigm for the world economy. Finally, the author examines the inter-relationships among technology, progress and the quality of life. The text is followed by an epilogue which suggests requirements for science and technology policy in the 1990s. The text is supported by tables and figures which the reader will find beneficial. The Economics of Hope: Essays on Technical Change, Economic Growth and the Environment is an examination of the complexities of the inter-relationships of science, technology, economic growth and the environment.