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Dinámica de los sectores productivos para el cambio estructural


  • Fernando Isabella

    (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economí­a)


Starting from a current debate about the effects of productive structures on long run development outcomes we propose a new methodology that, relying on the tools from the "Product Space" literature, applies Neo-Schumpeterian concepts to evaluate pathways of structural transformation. We seek to assess the technological sophistication and pervasiveness of different productive sectors as indicators of their potentiality to lead the economies towards development. We find that the "key sectors" in the world economy are, in order, those we called: "Industrial Machinery"; "Scientific and Medical Instrument" and "Pharmaceuticals". The poor results displayed by the sector called "Electronics", and the high pervasiveness of sectors based on mature technologies like "Basic Manufactures" or "Transport Equipment", lead us to question the consolidation of a new paradigm based on ICTs. As an alternative hypothesis, we argue that rather than a new paradigm clearly distinguishable from the previous, what we observe is the survival and overlap of key sectors of different historical stages, in a kind of "geological layers", explained by the persistence of previous technological systems. It seems then that those sectors that rise to key positions in a certain technological paradigm tend to see their relative sophistication eroded as incremental innovation opportunities tend to disappear and new radical innovations change the trend of economic growth. However, those sectors tend to keep high pervasiveness for a long time. In other words, they lose the capacity to capture extraordinary rents because of the technological diffusion and the increased competition, but they continue to play a central role in the productive structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Isabella, 2014. "Dinámica de los sectores productivos para el cambio estructural," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 14-05, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-05-14

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