Wednesday, February 26, 2003


Here are a few miscellaneous papers relating to K4D. They are all things I found looking for materials on the role of science and technology, and information and communications technology specifically, on economic growth and poverty reduction.

New Technologies, Competitiveness, and Poverty Reduction
From the Conclusions: “This overview of technological trends in manufactured exports and their drivers provides a useful lens through which to view growth. It is not suggested that growth is the only factor in poverty alleviation, but it clearly is an important one. Without boosting growth it is difficult to reduce poverty on a sustained basis. And in a liberalized world with inexorable technical progress, it is difficult for most countries to have growth without building industrial competitiveness. The picture has an optimistic and a pessimistic side. The optimistic side is that it is possible for developing countries to grow and compete effectively in the emerging setting, entering competitive markets for manufactures and moving up the technology scale quickly. The pessimistic side is that the trend is toward increasing divergence rather than convergence. The globalization process is drawing apart the “insiders” and the “outsiders” to technological dynamism. A few countries on the “inside” are participating in integrated international production systems. Of these, the truly dynamic ones are those that have developed strong local technological capabilities; the other insiders need to follow their example by investing in human and technological capital. Other developing countries are “on the outside” to different extents, from some about to join the insiders on one end to those risking long-term marginalization on the other.” By Sanjaya Lall, 2001. (PDF, 14 pages.)

Use of Information Technology for Poverty Reduction: A Focus on Andhra Pradesh
Conclusion: "An attempt has been made in this paper to present the approach adopted by the state of Andhra Pradesh in using IT for addressing the problem of poverty. The state has taken up a range of initiatives for using IT for improving governance and leapfrogging in terms of development. Past approaches have tended to focus on the primacy of the agricultural sector for escaping from the poverty trap. However, Andhra Pradesh views IT as offering a new paradigm of development very different from conventional approaches. In today's fast changing world, the transition from the past to the future is not a smooth continuum. Consequently, traditional approaches to deal with issues like poverty may have to be abandoned. It would be worthwhile to think out-of-the-box, look at new opportunities emerging in a networked world, and create a radically different model of development basing on these opportunities. While the traditional sectors like agriculture cannot be ignored, the new opportunities driven by IT, cannot be missed." By Randeep Sudan, 2001. (PDF, 86 pages)

Impacts of Food Crop Improvement Research in Africa
From the Abstract: “In recent years, an increasing number of studies have been undertaken to document agricultural research impacts and estimate rates of returns (RORs) to agricultural research investment in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). These studies provide tangible evidence of the increasing availability of improved varieties of major food crops to farmers in Africa, increased food production in regions where adoption has occurred, and positive returns to research investment. The widespread adoption of improved maize, wheat and rice varieties is especially noteworthy, with more than 50% of the area planted under these improved cereal crops by the early 1990s. The growing body of evidence on the impacts of agricultural research in Africa indicate that agricultural research in Africa has had productivity-increasing impacts. ….However, it should be noted that the results are patchy or uneven, by country and over time. The results also reflect wide variability as a result of differences in agroclimatic factors and the policy environment. Furthermore, the increasing availability of improved varieties is a necessary but not sufficient condition for increasing agricultural productivity. By Mywish Maredia, Derek Byerlee and Peter Pee, December 1998. (PDF, 42 pages)

WHO Health Research System Analysis Initiative: Brief Overview
From the Summary: “This framework serves as the basis for operational description and analysis of national health research from a system's perspective, rather than from a sector perspective…..Results documenting the benefits of health research and identifying the most effective processes to produce and utilize health research for improved health and health equity, will be especially sought. These findings will clearly serve as an input to the World Health Report 2004, as well as to concrete, longer-term technical cooperation with countries to strengthen national health research systems well beyond the publication of the WHR 2004.”

Neoclassical Growth, Manufacturing Agglomeration and Terms of Trade
Abstract: "This paper presents an integrated view of economic growth, development traps, and economic geography. We explain why there is income convergence among some countries (neoclassical regime) and income divergence among others (poverty trap regime). Income convergence (divergence) and manufacturing industry diffusion (agglomeration) are re-enforcing each other in a cumulative process. Moreover, trade openness may trigger a catch-up process of an economy that is stuck in a 'poverty trap'. This catch-up is characterized by an increase in the investment-to-GDP ratio and an improvement of the terms of trade. A new dynamic welfare gain of trade liberalization is identified, which is likely to be large." By Dieter M Urban, March 2000. (PDF, 470kb)

Moving Skills from Hands to Heads: Import of Technology and Export Performance
Abstract: “This paper examines the link between imported technologies and a country’s export performance, as measured by product quality. The analysis is set in the background of the process of regional integration between the EU and its neighbouring developing countries. The underlying question is whether trade integration fosters or dampens learning and technological upgrading. We find that unit values of exports from these countries to the EU rose steadily between 1988 and 1996, relative to the unit values of world exports to Europe. If increases in unit values satisfactorily proxy increases in product quality, then trade integration has fostered product upgrading and technological learning in the sample countries. We find that imported technologies and other sources of knowledge have a strong bearing on this pattern. Technological inflows are captured by the degree of involvement of European companies in export flows from our sample countries (Outward Processing Trade) and by the skill content of the machines imported.” By Giorgio Barba Navaretti, Eni Enrico Mattei, Marzio Galeotti, and Andrea Mattozzi, June 2000. (PDF, 390KB)

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