Brazil-India-US Technological Learning

TCLab's new postdoctoral scholar Jose Ribiero and Smita Srinivas are building a program on how technological learning is manifested in three countries. We know that economic growth and concerns of employment are both linked to technological learning, but we have some hunches about why economic theory doesn't take us far enough in appreciating why the links between industry and agriculture manifest in particular ways.

The study at the first stage is centered on the machine tools sector. Why machine tools? No country yet has industrialized without some capability in it. At the same time, the technological learning embedded in this sector travels unevenly across industry and agriculture and across urban and rural areas. We know that India, Brazil, and the US -all of which have dynamic machine tools capability-see very different outcomes of its use in agriculture and industry. With the help of M.S. candidates Christine Hui Wen and Jessica George, we are building a composite picture of productivity changes and learning prospects using engines and gear boxes in tractors and irrigation systems for instance to understand how sub-sectors of the economy are changing. Many influential studies have shown us how learning can boost both industry and agriculture. We want to study the mechanisms that connect capabilities and products to sectors and regions.

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But health technologies have indeed transformed the industry, allowed several developing countries immense gains in healthcare, and for most industrilizing economies, opportunity for patients and welfre states to buy into wider technology options.

See TCLab-related research on the health industry, where industrial policy plays a critical role in how cheap or expensive healthcare is. Read the award-winning book Market Menagerie by Smita Srinivas.

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Image copyright PaveGen