Learning curve

As TV Smith sings, The Future Used to Be Better

The sights I’ve seen, the things I’ve heard
While sliding down the learning curve
Their contract promised me the earth
Through toothy grins and weasel words

With normal jobs and normal lives
They force us to this compromise
Where labour lives and leisure dies
And most of us get by

But I remember the future used to be better
I still remember, the future used to be better


The model allows for the distinction made between experience and learning curves by the Boston Consulting Group and used in the following. An experience curve measures the performance relative to all external inputs to the system, a learning curve measures performance in relation to one particular input. An experience curve requires that all external inputs are measured in the same unit, usually money. For a learning curve, the input does not have to be monetarized but the learning system could quasi-improve the performance by substituting inputs.

Page 19 Wene (2008) in Foxon, Kohler and Oughton


Learning curves relate reductions in unit costs of a technology to the installed capacity of that technology, and thus attempt to quantify the effects of learning.

Page 3 Foxon, Kohler and Neuhoof (2008) in Foxon, Kohler and Oughton


See also Minimum Efficient Scale etc

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