“Technological Change and Sustainable Development: A World of Opportunities for the Region”

2015. "Technological Change and Sustainable Development: A World of Opportunities for the Region" with A. Marín, in Integration and Trade (INTAL-IDB) October 2015

Link: www19.iadb.org/intal/icom/en/notas/39-6/


Taking into account the lessons of history, this article proposes to analyze the opportunities and challenges for integration, trade, growth, and sustainable development in Latin America in the present historical period. The period of growth dominated by mass production, based primarily on cheap energy for transportation, electricity, and synthetic materials, and the expansion of markets for standardized products, has generated significant tensions between trade, growth, and sustainable development. At present, however, we are leaving behind the logic of mass production and moving at full speed into the information and communications technologies (ICTs) revolution, whose expansion is based on information, telecommunications, and low-cost microelectronics. In this shift many opportunities are opening up for sustainable development. In this article, we discuss these new opportunities and analyze their implications for Latin America. We argue that Latin America can, by using its historical advantage in natural resources (NRs) and the lessons learned during the import substitution period, take advantage of new technological and market opportunities tied to NRs in order to develop technological capabilities, and new activities and products that will be at the center of the new styles of production and lifestyles coming into place. We conclude that these opportunities can be exploited only through significant political and institutional innovations that may accompany the new processes unfolding.

Table of Contents:

1. Executive Summary
2. Trade and Sustainability
3. Successive changing opportunities 
4. Growth in the ICT age
4.1 Changes on the production side
4.2 Changes on the demand side 
5.  Natural resources as innovative sectors
6. Unexpected learning
7. Institutional Innovations
8. A socially inclusive model
9. The right organization


The transformation of natural resources from new technologies offers a wealth of opportunities for growth in the region. New information-based intangible services and products are appearing, from smart phone applications and social networking to mass data collecting (big data), the Internet of Things, 3D printing, and robotics. How to generate greater production and trade from the revolution under way, and what policies contribute to an equitable social distribution of progress. 


Published 2002

'...the book fills an important gap in the literature on business cycles and innovations. I most strongly commend it to all those attempting to understand the past and future evolution of technology and the economy.'

Christopher Freeman, Emeritus Professor, SPRU,
University of Sussex, UK

'...Carlota Perez shows us that historically technological revolutions arrive with remarkable regularity, and that economies react to them in predictable phases. Her argument provides much needed perspective not just on history, but on our own times. And especially on our own information revolution.'

W. Brian Arthur, Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico

‘For contents page, selected extracts and further details, click here’.

Technological Revolutions Financial bubbles Installation Period Frenzy Deployment Period Golden Ages Dual strategy Techno‑economic paradigms Neo‑Schumpeterian Respecialization Synergy Turning Point Future markets Knowledge society Green growth Maturity Full global development Globalization Sustainability Socio‑economic development Paradigm shifts Irruption Market hyper‑segmentation