"Technology and competitiveness in Latin America: beyond the legacy of import substitution policies"

2001. "Technology and competitiveness in Latin America: Beyond the legacy of import substitution policies" in Dutrenit, G., C. Garrido and G. Valenti (eds.) Sistema Nacional de Innovación: Temas para el debate en México. Ciudad de México: UNAM, pp. 85-127

Table of Contents:


Introduction
A. STRUCTURAL COMPETITIVENESS:
THE TASKS, THE OBSTACLES AND THE VOIDS
1. A DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION FOR FIRMS
a. A Copernican revolution: The firm at the center of profitability
b. Technological passivity:
A Trojan horse sent by the past into the future
c. Distorsions and voids in the supporting environment
2. THE WEAVING OF NETWORKS OF COOPERATION
a. A legacy of confrontation and segregation
b. Poor access to sources of technology
c. The lack of network promoters
3. MODERNIZING THE INFRASTRUCTURE
AND THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
a. Poor but subsidized public services
b. Isolated but honest technical infrastructure
c. Education and training: fulfilling obsolete goals
4. FOCUSING AND STRATEGIC SPECIALIZATION
a. Overcoming the small country complex
b. The primary product prejudice
c. The institutional void
B. A CHANGE OF PARADIGM FOR GOVERNMENT
1. MODERNIZING THE MODERNIZERS
2. LETTING GO AND REINING IN
a. The multiplication of initiatives
b. The framework for convergence
C. AN ACTIVE ROLE FOR LATIN AMERICAN RESEARCH:
PROVIDING SUPPORT TO THE AGENTS OF CHANGE 
References 
 

Introduction:

 
The process of transforming a protected and subsidized economy into one that is structurally competitive requires efforts on many fronts against formidable odds. At every turn it involves abandoning old habits and ideas, dismantling or reforming obsolete institutions, modifying behaviors, revising regulatory frameworks, while at the same time it demands constructing the new institutions, regulations, infrastructure, linkages and support systems. In fact, it would be justified to say that the biggest obstacles faced by firms and governments in Latin America on the way to competitiveness are neither financial nor technical but rather institutional and ideological.

Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) which was the dominant development strategy in this continent from the 1950's to the 1980's was much more than a government policy. It gradually became a thoroughly coherent set of behaviors, notions and practices, involving firms, workers, government, banks, consumers, politicians, etc. and was eventually ingrained in mutually reinforcing institutions. This legacy is the most powerful obstacle to the assimilation of the modern technologies and modern management practices that determine competitiveness in the new international environment.

Yet the Latin American version of ISI was very successful until relatively recent times. Contrary to what some people now hold, these policies were not always an obstacle. In fact, it is precisely because once, in a different world context, they were responsible for high growth rates and visible social progress that they became so deep-rooted ideologically and politically, as well as in practice, in most Latin American countries.
Publications
 

"TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS AND FINANCIAL CAPITAL:The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages"

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

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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