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State-Directed Diffusion Of Technology: The Mechanization Of Cotton Harvesting In Soviet Central Asia


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  • Pomfret, Richard


When Soviet central planners began to mechanize the cotton harvest in earnest in 1958, they expected more rapid diffusion than the market-driven process that had begun in the United States a decade earlier. But despite high output of cotton-picking machines, the share of the crop harvested mechanically grew more slowly than in the United States. The factor proportions in Central Asia did not justify mechanization: although planners could enforce introduction of the new technology, investment in cotton-harvesting machines was largely a waste of resources. The costs of premature introduction are estimated at over 1 billion in 1960s prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 62 (2002)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 170-188

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:62:y:2002:i:01:p:170-188_04

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Cited by:
  1. Cernat, Lucian & Onguglo, Bonapas & Ito, Taisuke, 2007. "RTAs and WTO compatibility: Catch me if you can? The case of EPA negotiations," MPRA Paper 3645, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Pomfret, Richard, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Kazakhstan," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48360, World Bank.


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