Technological change as intelligent, energy-maximizing adaptation



Abstract. The picture of technological change over the last 70 years in the global economy is ambiguous, with two salient facts: Total Factor Productivity has been systematically falling since 1979, whilst the average global food deficit has been systematically declining since 1992. Building upon those two fundamental facts, this article develops and verifies empirically a model, where technological change is a function of intelligent adaptation, which maximizes the appropriation of energy from the environment. Empirical research presented in the article suggests that food deficit is a powerful spur of technological change, and the loop between said change and appropriation of energy works is the most visible in societies with such deficit. As the human civilisation has managed to cut the average food deficit by half, since 1992, whist doubling population, we might be, right now, at the historical peak of intensity in technological change. 

Keywords. Technological change, Evolutionary theory, Intelligent adaptation.

JEL. O3, O4, Q01.


Technological change; Evolutionary theory; Intelligent adaptation.

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