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The Office of Technology Assessment recently prepared a 500 page report titled Technology and the American Economic Transition, Choices for the Future. OTA sees four major factors that are resulting in "economic transition" factors that will continue to transform the U.S. economy during the next 20 years: new technologies, new challenges from abroad, new resource constraints, and new values and tastes in U.S. consumer and labor markets.

New technologies, particularly in collecting and handling information, are expected to have long-term, pervasive economic and social impacts comparable to past U.S. economic transformations from major technologies such as automobiles and railroads. New technologies have also contributed to the second factor creating "transition," new challenges from abroad, by creating access for foreign producers to many product markets in the U.S. These forces, as well as resource factors and new values and tastes, have already had profound impacts on U.S. industries, yet there are many possible courses of development for U.S. industries and the U.S. economy during the next 20 years. Choices for the Future will determine to a great extent those industries and companies that prosper and those that decline, as well as, in a much broader context, whether or not U.S. productivity and standards of living decline or advance compared to other countries.


Bullard, S.H. 1989. Furniture manufacturing and marketing in the ‘American Economic Transition.’ Miss. For. Prod. Util. Lab. Res. Rep. 14, Mississippi State, MS, 21 p.



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