Cycles of growth of technological and scientific Creativity

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Wagner-Döbler, Roland
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The goal of the study is to explore continuity and discontinuity of scientific and technological development on a historical scale. There is a focus on the question whether there are considerable fluctuations in activities in scientific and technological knowledge processes. Based on the discussion in economic research it will be shown that this question is central if you consider new scientific ideas and new technologies as an “engine” of scientific development. In the area of science fluctuations in activity are measured from the publications on the example of mathematics. Technological fluctuations are measured trough quantitative analysis of patented and thus published inventions. In the areas of science and technology longwave variations are evident. In technology fluctuations are observable even before the start of the industrial revolution in the 19th century and not only concern the total value of patents. Looking at the long term development of patents on the four major industry nations; Great Britain, France, Germany and the USA it can be shown that besides characteristic fluctuations there is a secular decline in growth rates. This fact can be interpreted as “law of decreasing investment rate in industry branches” as well as an expression of a necessarily occurring growth limit. Finally, this study also aims to contribute indirectly theoretically and empirically to the knowledge about longwave in economics. The statistical analysis of the underlying sources shows that not only economic development is subject to fluctuations but inventions and discoveries as well. List of variables: Indicators: - Demography - Structure of occupations - Tax administration - Migration and mobility - Church live Register of tables in HISTAT: - Active mathematicians and mathematical works - Patents granted (Germany and USA)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1812 / 1993
  • 1791 / 1994
Geographic Coverage
  • Historical German lands (-1871) (DQDE)
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
  • Germany (DE)
  • United States (US)
Collection Mode
  • USA, issued patents 1791 – 1994: Until 1961: Federico, P.J., 1964: Historical Patent Statistics, 1791 – 1961. Journal of the Patent Office Society, Vol. 46, S. 89-171. For 1962: Goldstein, J., 1988: Long Cycles. Prosperity and War in the Modern Age. New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press (Anhang). 1963 – 1994: Erhebungen von R. Wagner-Döbler, Datenbank U.S. Patents des U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Host Dialog, Stand: Sommer 1995. Germany, issued patents 1812 - 1993: Until 1961: Federico, P.J., 1964: Historical Patent Statistics, 1791 – 1961. Journal of the Patent Office Society, Vol. 46, S. 89-171. From 1962 (First year of reporting): Statistical Yearbook of the Federal Republic of Germany 1962-1993. Patents issued by the European Parliament are included; insofar the protection rights are also valid for Germany. Meaningful mathematical publications 1501 – 1850 after the choice of Brunet (1865). Active mathematicians of the considered years: Calculation based on the list by; Gascoigne, R., 1984: The Historical Demography of the Scientific Community, 1450 – 1900. Social Studies of Science, Vol. 22, S. 545 – 573.
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 395
    Number of Variables: 6
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8161 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Wagner-Döbler, Roland: Wachstumszyklen technisch-wissenschaftlicher Kreativität. Eine quantitative Studie unter besonderer Beachtung der Mathematik. Frankfurt/New York: Campus 1997.

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 87 | Registration Date: 2010-07-23