Surveying structural change: seminal contributions and a bibliometric account
Ester Gomes da Silva
Aurora A.C. Teixeira
The main aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive survey of the economic literature on structural change. Along with an insightful literature review of the seminal contributions in the field, we perform a quantitative analysis that takes into account all the theoretical and empirical articles on the subject that were published from 1969 onwards. This effort to gather the relevant documentation is based on a review of 910 abstracts from articles published in all the economic journals found in the Econlit database over the past forty years. According to our quantitative analysis, structural change analysis received a major boost in the 1990s, with a considerable increase in the number of articles published on the matter. The marked rise in interest seems to be primarily related to the growing concern to find explanations for the process of technological change and its effects on the economy. In the first half of the current decade technological change comprises a predominant area of research, accounting for about one quarter of the articles published. Despite the increased formalism observed in the 1990s, our results further highlight that the bulk of the research in this field remains empirically led. Furthermore, and quite surprisingly, discussions concerning ICTs do not seem to have been translated so far into a substantial increase in research on structural change-related issues.
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