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State of Technology and Productivity in Pakistan’s Manufacturing Industries: Some Strategic Directions to Build Technological Competence

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  • Zafar Mahmood

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

  • Rehana Siddiqui

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)

Abstract

Historically, Pakistan’s economic growth record, especially of the manufacturing sector, has been quite satisfactory. However, since the late 1980s Pakistan has been facing a slow growth of manufacturing industries, particularly of the large-scale manufacturing units. This has led some economists to express the apprehension that perhaps de-industrialisation is taking place in the country. A careful analysis of the causes of this sluggish growth suggests that one of the main contributory factors is the slow growth in total factor productivity (TFP)—the best overall measure of competitiveness. What has caused this productivity slow-down? For Pakistan there is clear evidence of a relationship between the growth in total factor productivity and the ailing S & T apparatus. The results presented in the study also lend support to the hypothesis that knowledge capital, human capital, openness, and government policies are crucial determinants of total factor productivity growth. Given a liberal economic environment in the country, which is essential to improve efficiency and productivity, the paper offers four strategic directions in order to improve the status of the S & T system in Pakistan (1) augment the public sector S & T apparatus with the private sector funding and oversight; (2) take measures to upgrade scientific research institutions to the international standard; (3) streamline the technology creation, absorption, and diffusion system; and (4) enhance the demand for S & T in industries. These strategic directions are designed in such a manner that they work together towards a series of phased reforms, which can create incentives and market-based mechanisms to enhance the technology system without relying on a radical shift in the governance element of the bureaucracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Zafar Mahmood & Rehana Siddiqui, 2000. "State of Technology and Productivity in Pakistan’s Manufacturing Industries: Some Strategic Directions to Build Technological Competence," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 1-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:39:y:2000:i:1:p:1-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Norsworthy, J R, 1984. "Growth Accounting and Productivity Measurement," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(3), pages 309-329, September.
    2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tin Htoo NAING & Yap Su FEI, 2015. "Multinationals, Technology and Regional Linkages in Myanmar's Clothing Industry," Working Papers DP-2015-14, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    2. Matthew McCartney, 2014. "The Political Economy of Industrial Policy: A Comparative Study of the Textiles Industry in Pakistan," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 19(Special E), pages 105-134, September.
    3. Shaukat Hameed Khan, 2009. "Making People Employable: Reforming Secondary Education in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 48(4), pages 603-617.
    4. Arby, Muhammad Farooq, 2008. "Some Issues in the National Income Accounts of Pakistan (Rebasing, Quarterly and Provincial Accounts and Growth Accounting)," MPRA Paper 32048, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Rashid Amjad & Namra Awais, 2016. "Pakistan’s Productivity Performance and TFP Trends, 1980–2015: Cause for Real Concern," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 21(Special E), pages 33-63, September.
    6. Tariq Mahmood, 2015. "Mediating Effect of Advertising Expenditure on Labour Productivity - A Case of Manufacturing Industries in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 54(1), pages 1-15.
    7. Khan Shahrukh Rafi, 2011. "Growth Diagnostics: The Puzzle of Pakistan's Lagging Economic Growth," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(4), pages 1-19, December.
    8. Amjad, Rashid & Awais, Namra, 2016. "Pakistan's productivity performance and TFP trends 1980-2015: Cause for real concern," MPRA Paper 75017, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Mohammad, Irfan, 1999. "Skills development and competitiveness - the role of HRD," MPRA Paper 38379, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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