Charles Lipson
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E-mail: [email protected]

Voice: 773.702.8053

Fax:    773.702.1689


Charles Lipson

Professor of Political Science

University of Chicago

5828 S. University Ave.

Chicago, IL 60637


What’s New About the New Economy?
The Third Industrial Revolution

The First Industrial Revolution, based in Britain in the early 1800s, was about iron, textiles, and the new steam engine.

The Second Industrial Revolution, based in Germany and the United States, was about the development of heavy industries such as steel, chemicals, and petroleum.  Its power sources were electricity, the internal combustion engine, and the gas turbine.

The Third Industrial Revolution, based in the United States, is in "high knowledge" industries, primarily

  • computers and software,
  • telecommunications, and
  • biotechnology.

In these high-knowledge sectors, a few key innovations have had wide-ranging effects on all production and consumption.  In the process, they have dramatically raised income and transformed the economy, society, and politics.

All three industrial revolutions were grounded in secure legal rights to make contracts and own property, including intellectual property in new ideas. There is a strong continuity, then, from the early days of textile manufacturing to today's industrial robots building the latest generation of electronic circuits.

What differed in each case were the characteristic ways that production and distribution were organized—on the factory floor, in the firms, and in sales to consumers.


Pages on this Web site
Lipson Courses
Lipson talks
Home List of my courses
International Politics
Talks on Education & Honesty
Books by Charles Lipson
Why Honesty Matters for Your Education
           (for university students)
Talks by Charles Lipson
Courses offered
Helping Your Students Do Honest Work
          (for faculty and advisers)
PIPES Workshop
World History
International Relations Resources 15th-18th c. World Politics
Why Honesty Matters in High School
          (for high-school students)
Reading, Writing, Plagiarism 19th c World Politics
How to Write a Thesis 20th c World Politics to 1945
Succeeding as an International Student in the U.S. and Canada      (customized for students, faculty, or advisers)
Politics and Culture 20th c World Politics 1945-91
Fun Big Wars: Ancient, Medieval, & Modern
Talks on Global Issues
News Pages
Social Science Core
What's New about the New Economy?
World News Power, Identity, Resistance The World America Made
Middle East News   Political Threats to Global Prosperity
Headline News   Turning Points of the 20th Century
World News-Web Audio   Democracies in World Politics
Advice for students
  Israel's Challenges
How to Write a Thesis   China in World Politics
Getting a Recommendation   The Cold War
  Why We Fought WW2
© Charles Lipson, 2008