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Technological change and opportunities for development as a moving target

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Author: Pérez, Carlota UN symbol.: LC/G.2150-P p. 109-130 December 2001

Description

This article puts forward an interpretation of development as a process of accumulation of technological and social capabilities dependent upon taking advantage of successive and different windows of opportunity. These windows are determined from the core countries, through the technological revolutions which occur every half-century and the four phases of their deployment. The possibilities of progressing at each opportunity depend on the achievements made in the previous phase, on identifying the nature of the next one, understanding the techno-economic paradigm of the revolution in question, and being able to design and negotiate, in each case, a positive-sum strategy, taking account of the interests of the most powerful firms. On the basis of this interpretation, a summary review is made of the successive development strategies applied since the 1950s. The author then outlines the likely nature of the next phase and, applying the principles of the current techno-economic paradigm, explores some aspects of the institutional changes to be carried out.