Creative destruction

The concept of creative destruction was introduced by Joseph Schumpeter in « Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy ». He used it to describe the periodic processes by which innovation leads to new patterns of growth, thanks to the destruction of previously dynamically stable configurations of the economy. This has been since then widely used by thinkers, either to support the acceptance of disruptions caused by new technologies and criticise the resistance to dismantling existing strongholds, or to analyse the conditions for keeping the benefits of the creative side while minimising some of the drawbacks of the destructive side. For an account of how these concepts fit in modern economic thinking for a key domain, one can refer to Marco Vivarelli, « The economics of technology and employment: Theory and empirical evidence ».

Like any major technical change the present process is one of creative destruction. Some forms of information exchanges are strongly challenged (the record music publishing industry, or broadcasting as we know them for instance). Other forms have appeared in embryonic forms without attaining a stabilised sustainable reality yet, such as the World Wide Web as a low entry cost publishing and information service basis.

Back to issue
Back to index