Cycles of Technological Clustering

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Leonid E. Grinin, Tessaleno C. Devezas,and Andrey V. Korotayev:

"As William Thompson notes in his article ‘K-Waves, Technological Clustering, and Some of Its Implications’, the Kondratieff waves mean many things to different people. Thompson proposes that we would all benefit from adopting a view that considers these long-term fluctuations as instances of technological clustering. Thompson borrows the term ‘technologically clustering’ from Gruebler (1998: 117) who refers to a technological cluster as a ‘set of interrelated technological and organizational innovations whose pervasive adoption drives a particular period of economic growth, productivity increases, industrialization, trade, and associated structural changes’. If we were to converge on this technological clustering as the central focus of K-wave analysis, as a number of analysts do, the significance and centrality of these processes would be-come more salient, the need to elaborate our theoretical infrastructures would become more imperative, and the unification of many findings pointing in different directions might become more feasible. In other words, the potential payoffs could be efficient. Thompson attempts to advance the case for this approach by empirically elaborating some of the implications for technological clustering and world inequality reinforcement and systemic leadership decline.