In the 1950s Solow developed a mathematical model that could show the
relative contributions of various factors to producing sustained national
economic growth. Contrary to traditional economic thinking, he showed
that the rate of technological progress is actually more important than
capital accumulation and increases in labour in achieving such growth.
The greater efficiency and productivity that result from qualitative
improvements such as new machines and improved human skills are thus
more important than strictly quantitative investments that result in
a greater number of machines and factories. From the 1960s on, Solow's
studies were influential in persuading governments to channel their
funds into technological research and development in order to spur economic
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