"Technological change and opportunities for development as a moving target"

2001. “Technological change and opportunities for development as a moving target”Cepal Review, No. 75, December, pp. 109-130.

Link: http://www.eclac.org/publicaciones/xml/5/20135/lcg2150i_Perez.pdf (217kb)


This article puts forward an interpretation of development as a process of accumulation of technological and social capabilities dependent upon taking advantage of successive and different windows of opportunity. These windows are determined from the core countries, through the technological revolutions which occur every half-century and the four phases of their deployment. The possibilities of progressing at each opportunity depend on the achievements made in the previous phase, on identifying the nature of the next one, understanding the technoeconomic paradigm of the revolution in question, and being able to design and negotiate, in each case, a positive-sum strategy, taking account of the interests of the most powerful firms. On the basis of this interpretation, a summary review is made of the successive development strategies applied since the 1950s. The author then outlines the likely nature of the next phase and, applying the principles of the current techno-economic paradigm, explores some aspects of the institutional changes to be carried out.    

Table of Contents:

Technological change and development
The product cycle, development and changes in barriers to entry
1.The product life cycle and the geographic propagation of technologies
2. The product life cycle and the geographic propagation of technologies
Technologies, systems, revolutions and paradigms
1. Technological trajectories and the accumulation of experience
2. Technological systems and the creation of social capabilities
3. Technological revolutions and the interconnection of systems
4. Techno-economic paradigms and the rejuvenation of all activities
6. Change of paradigm as a change in management common sense
Development as learning to take advantage of changing opportunities
1. Periods of change of paradigm as dual technological opportunities
2. “Dancing with wolves”10 or the question of power structures
Accumulated experience and future windows of opportunity
1. Inventing and reinventing development strategies
2. Confronting the next stage
Addressing development in the context of the present paradigm
1. Technology at the core of development strategies
2. Reinventing the “strong” State
3. Think global, act local
4. Modernity and values 



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