Economics, Innovations, Technology, and Engineering Education: The Connections

By Ritz, John M.; Bevins, P. Scott | Journal of Technology Studies, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Economics, Innovations, Technology, and Engineering Education: The Connections


Ritz, John M., Bevins, P. Scott, Journal of Technology Studies


Abstract

Throughout history the success of economies around the world has in large part been influenced by technological growth and innovations. Along with such growth and innovations came higher living standards and an improved quality of life for citizens residing and participating in those economies. However, not all countries were able to grow and develop at the same rate, resulting in considerable differences in economic welfare across populations. As nations around the world address the 21st century, economic growth and prosperity for some nations will depend upon how well their citizens are equipped and motivated to seek new technological discoveries and innovations or participate in the supply chain for the production of such new innovations. Such decision making by individuals will be influenced by both economic and political factors existing within each respective country. After providing a description of economic development, the researchers analyze the current economic conditions in several advanced and developing countries and regions around the world, identifying factors that impact the development in those areas. In the remainder of the article, the focus is placed on the skills needed for 21st century workers and the role technology and engineering education might play in eroding the gaps in skill sets required for developing a workforce, thus moving a country forward in development and affluence.

Keywords: Economics, Innovation, Technology and Engineering Education, 21st Century Skills

Economic Growth and Development

Economic growth is important for the wellbeing of people and nations. According to Herrick and Kindleberger (1983) "economic growth means more output, and economic development implies not only more output but also different kinds of output than were previously produced, as well as changes in the technical and institutional arrangements by which output is produced and distributed" (p. 21). That is, economic development encompasses new innovation and technological improvements and discoveries, leading to growth in real output and higher living standards. In short, economic growth implies the increased capacity or ability to produce either more goods or provide more services for which consumers are willing and able to buy. Factors contributing to economic growth include additional resources, innovations, and increased labor productivity.

Economic growth is measured in terms of the standard of living or per capita real gross domestic product (GDP), yielding the real monetary value of final goods and services produced for each individual in a given year. Although there is no guarantee that each individual will have the means to acquire that monetary amount, increasing living standards will provide greater opportunities for populations to succeed. Higher living standards mean more goods and services are produced for consumption, and sales revenues, employment, and personal income increase. As more goods and services are produced for consumption, economic welfare or satisfaction gained from the consumption of those goods and services is assumed to increase. Per capita real income is a better indirect measure of economic welfare or well-being than per capita real GDP, because it reflects more closely the average purchasing power of the individual. Consequently, growth rates, as exhibited by percentage changes in real income, provide a better indirect estimate of improvement in the quality of life.

Changes in living standards occur from variations in either real GDP or population. If the population grows at a faster rate than real GDP, mathematically, goods and services would be spread more thinly across all individuals. Historically, countries developing the fastest were those classified as capitalist nations having market-oriented economies, the G7 nations - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States. Those economies provided greater opportunities for individual success, whether a person engaged in risk taking through entrepreneurship or elected to work for someone else. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Economics, Innovations, Technology, and Engineering Education: The Connections
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.