2008/01 LEM Working Paper Series

Technical Change and Economic Growth: Some Lessons from Secular Patterns and Some Conjectures on the Current Impact of ICT Technology

Carolina Castaldi and Giovanni Dosi
Technical change, Economic Growth, ICT

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This paper discusses the link between patterns of technological change and economic development taking an evolutionary perspective. We argue that the modes and timing of such coupled dynamics are deeply influenced by the emergence of new techno-economic paradigms or regimes. ICT-based technologies are the drivers of the current paradigm, which, we show, is still at an early stage of diffusion, particularly for developing countries. Building from historical evidence, we argue that catching up of developing countries critically depends on their ability to master the technology behind the dominant technoeconomic paradigm. We then discuss threats and opportunities related to a possible ICTbased development path.

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