INAF-486 Technology, Globalization and Growth
Spring for 2007-2008
The acceleration in the creation and dissemination of technology in the last five decades, combined with the information revolution, has a major impact on the growth prospects of advanced and developing countries. These revolutions in information and technology are also increasing trade integration and other interdependences across countries and regions. The course starts with a brief overview of the role of technology in growth and development, as well as the basics of invention, innovation, and commercialization of technology. It explores the interplay between four critical elements of a country's readiness to take advantage of these revolutions: a demanding economic incentive and institutional regime; an educated and skilled population; a dynamic information infrastructure; and an effective innovation system. It uses measures of these elements to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the US, the main European countries, Japan, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and major developing regions. It also explores how the technology and information revolutions affect four key issues of global concern: inequality, security, sustainability, and quality of life. With these building blocks and some basic assumptions about key political and economic trends, students will be asked to project how the world may look in 2020, and to propose actions to improve these prospective futures. The course is open to upperclassmen and graduate students with some background in economics and international relations.
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