Did 1974 mark the beginning of a new industrial revolution, an era of rapid progress spurred by the development of the information technologies? Did the quickening pace of technological advance exacerbate income inequality and slow productivity? The author explores periods of rapid technological change for coincidences of widening inequality and slowing productivity growth. While the introduction of technologies offers profits to investors and premiums for skilled workers, the author contends, in the long run, the rising tide of technological change lifts everybody's boat.
Jeremy Greenwood is a professor of economics at the University of Rochester.