Dedicated to Fernando Fajnzylber, In memoriam
This article analyses the approach which ECLAC has taken to the subject of technology. In this respect, the author identifies two different periods. The first starts with the inception of ECLAC and continues up to the 1970s. This period, during which efforts focused on achieving Latin America's industrialization, essentially by means of import substitution, was characterized by what the author terms "technological passivity" on the part of the relevant agents and of mainstream economic thought in the region. The second period, from the 1980s to the present, is marked by "technological activism" arising out of what has been called the Third Industrial Revolution, with its far-reaching ramifications in the world economy, and also out of a substantive change in the thinking of ECLAC, whose main concern is now with the determinants of technical progress and competitiveness together with the achievement of social equity in the distribution of the fruits of that progress. In analysing this aspect, the author draws upon the ideas of Raúl Prebisch and Aníbal Pinto.