Provides an alternative approach to modeling material processes in economics. Argues that material wealth (GDP) is an increasing function of two universal factor inputs, namely broadly-defined energy and broadly-defined organization. Uses the results to examine the productivity slowdown, the ICT revolution and the phenomenon of outsourcing. The latter is attributed to a desire on the part of firms/shareholders to capture a greater share of the relevant energy rents.
BERNARD C. BEAUDREAU is Associate Professor of Economics at Universite Laval in Quebec City.