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Inadequacy of technology and innovation systems at the periphery: notes on Celso Furtado's contributions for a dialogue between evolutionists and structuralists

  • Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque


This paper focuses on "inadequacy of technology" as formulated by Celso Furtado. The concept of "inadequacy of technology" may be, on the one hand, an enlightening assessment of the technological condition of underdevelopment and, on the other hand, a helpful "focusing device" for an agenda on innovation systems at the periphery. Furtado's approach on inappropriate technology may uncover the social roots of the well know "low-growth trap" of less-developed economies. Celso Furtado explains how inadequacy of technology is related to the polarization "modernization-marginalization" that characterizes economies with immature systems of innovation, as the Brazilian economy. This concept also highlights how difficult it is to overcome the complex interplay among unequal income distribution, localized and blocked technical progress and unsustainable economic growth. To overcome the inadequacy of technology a dual institutional building seems to be necessary: the innovation systems might co-evolve with welfare systems.

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Paper provided by Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in its series Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG with number td254.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdp:texdis:td254
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  1. Abramovitz,Moses, 1989. "Thinking about Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521333962.
  2. Richard Nelson, 2008. "Economic Development from the Perspective of Evolutionary Economic Theory," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 9-21.
  3. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, June.
  4. Giovanni Amendola & Giovanni Dosi & Erasmo Papagni, 1993. "The dynamics of international competitiveness," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 451-471, September.
  5. Richard R. Nelson, 2002. "The problem of market bias in modern capitalist economies," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 207-244.
  6. Freeman, Chris & Louca, Francisco, 2002. "As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199251056, July.
  7. Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque, 2003. "Immature systems of innovation: introductory notes about a comparison between South Africa, India, Mexico and Brazil based on science and technology statistics," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td221, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
  8. Nelson, Richard R, 1998. "The Agenda for Growth Theory: A Different Point of View," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 497-520, July.
  9. Teitel, Simon, 1981. "Towards an understanding of technical change in semi-industrialized countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 127-147, July.
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