1 The chapter was prepared at the request of the editors and differs from many of the others in this volume in that it was not presented at the Cambridge workshop and as a result has not benefited from discussion at that meeting.

2 Note that this is not the same issue as that of 'embodied' technical change discussed for example in Berndt et al. (1993), which refers to the persistence of technological change as embodied in the unmalleable capital stock.

3 The two concepts, although closely related, should be carefully distinguished. Whereas irreversibility is related to responses across time, asymmetry is concerned with responses at a point in time. In the discussion which follows the two will be treated simultaneously since the discussion is neither purely theoretical nor purely ahistorical.

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