Work in Waste: Technology, Infrastructure, Politics

Smita Srinivas and Saku Makinen have been studying the utility of different technology transfer waste processing and absorptive capacity frameworks to see whether Finnish waste technology firms can adapt to waste processing contexts outside of Finland. Former TCLab Program Manager  May Yu recently completed her thesis research studying the complexities of this process in Brazil. In the thesis "Protecting Local Livelihoods in Urban Sustainable Development: Environment-Employment Tradeoffs of Jardim Gramacho in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil", Yu raises some questions for how decentralized industrial issues in waste processing are often left out of the urban and regional planning context. Employment and health concerns make a suitable response urgent, and Yu's research shows us a way forward.

These concerns are shared by Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, India. Chintan has been involved in some important work with informal waste processing workers and the missing “Space for Waste” in spatial planning.

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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.

This past three years, TCLab-related research has expanded, especially on the economics of innovation and technological learning in agriculture, the health industry, and in urbanization.

In 2014, TCLab research was presented by TCLab Visiting Fellow Jose Eustaquio Vieira Filho at the Globelics conference on the economics of innovation in Addis Ababa.

In 2015, Srinivas and TCLab Visiting Fellow Filho's early paper was published by IPEA, the Institute for Applied Economics Research

Farm versus Firm? Analyzing the institutional questions of Arthur Lewis (shown) and Hayami and Ruttan (1985) at Globelics 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.