Why are some countries richer than others and why do some economies grow more rapidly? The Politics of Technological Progress answers these vital questions by highlighting the importance of technological progress for sustained economic development. The author also explains why some countries exhibit faster technological progress than others. Armed with a wealth of cross-national empirical evidence, Professor Simmons stresses the importance of properly constructed political parties for establishing an environment conducive to technological progress. 'Well-institutionalized' ruling parties are essential for technological progress, he argues, because only in such parties are time horizons long enough for governments to accept the deferred returns that are an inherent feature of government efforts to encourage innovation and technology adoption in the economy.
Joel W. Simmons is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on economic development, globalization, international organizations, electoral institutions, elections and voter turnout, and parties and party systems. His work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, Comparative Political Studies and Political Science Research and Methods.
Contents; List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Part I. Introduction: 1. The importance of technological progress; 2. Cross-national variation in technology policies; 3. The paradox of technology policies; 4. The argument; 5. Plan of the book; Part II. Political Parties and Technological Progress: Theory: 6. Why time horizons matter; 7. Political parties, time horizons, and technology policy; 8. Discussion; Part III. Political Parties and Technological Progress: Empirics: 9. Measuring party institutionalization; 10. Reduced-form models and results; 11. From party institutionalization to income levels; 12. Testing the mechanisms; 13. Conclusion; Part IV. Weak Institutionalization and Myopic Policymaking: 14. Context-conditional political business cycles; 15. Party institutionalization and policy cycles; 16. Pre-election expansions; 17. Post-election contractions; 18. Conclusion; Part V. State Failures, Market Failures, and Technological Progress: 19. Political failures and market failures; 20. A proposed synthesis; 21. Case illustrations; 22. Cross-national analyses; 23. Conclusion; Part VI. Conclusion: 24. Parties and economic performance; 25. Extending the model; A. Appendix to chapter 1; B. Appendix to chapter 2; C. Appendix to chapter 3; References.