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Manufacturing Agrarian Change - Agricultural production, inter-sectoral learning and technological capabilities

  • Antonio Andreoni

The aim of this paper is to investigate how industrial development, manufacturing in particular, has been contributing to agrarian change. In order to address this issue, it analyzes the technical bases and structural specificities – i.e. time and scale constraints – of agricultural production. Technical change in agriculture involves both improvements in organic transformation processes – i.e. biological production – and in the mechanical functions that have to be performed for obtaining a certain output – i.e. agricultural work. The paper shows how in-farm technological capabilities building as well as inter-sectoral learning are necessary in order to acquire and adapt biological-chemical innovations and mechanical technologies. The analysis of agrarian technical change – both in-farm learning and inter-sectoral learning – is developed by integrating peasant studies with evolutionary approaches to economic development. The relationship between agrarian change and manufacturing development is highly context specific, thus comparative historical analysis is adopted in order to shed light on the abovementioned processes of learning. Building on the analysis of technological change in agriculture, the last part of the paper will focus on those transformative policies such as innovative ‘extension services’ which facilitate inter-sectoral learning and, in turn, allow the emergence of inter-sectoral commons. This concept identifies that specific bundle of technological capabilities which concentrate in certain areas of strong inter-sectoral interdependence as a result of inter-sectoral learning.

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Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 11-13.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:11-13
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.druid.dk/

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  1. Chang, Ha-Joon, 1993. "The Political Economy of Industrial Policy in Korea," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 131-57, June.
  2. Scazzieri, Roberto, 1993. "A Theory of Production: Tasks, Processes, and Technical Practices," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283737, March.
  3. O'Hara, Sabine, 1997. "A theory of production tasks, processes, and technical practices : Robert Scazzieri, Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, 1993," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 371-375, August.
  4. Olmstead, Alan L & Rhode, Paul, 1993. "Induced Innovation in American Agriculture: A Reconsideration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 100-118, February.
  5. Park, Se-Hark, 1989. "Linkages between industry and services and their implications for urban employment generation in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 359-379, April.
  6. Kuznets, Simon, 1971. "Modern Economic Growth: Findings and Reflections," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1971-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
  7. Park, Se-Hark & Chan, Kenneth S., 1989. "A cross-country input-output analysis of intersectoral relationships between manufacturing and services and their employment implications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 199-212, February.
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