nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2005‒03‒13
three papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Leeds Metropolitan University

  1. Inappropriate technology and innovation systems at the periphery: notes on Celso Furtado's contributions for a dialogue between evolutionists and structuralists By Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque
  2. Individual action, institutions and social change : an approach in terms of convention By Bernard Enjolras
  3. Turning Qualitative into Quantitative Evidence: A Well-Used Method Made Explicit By A.W. Carus; Sheilagh Ogilvie

  1. By: Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on "inappropriate technology" as formulated by Celso Furtado. The concept of "inappropriate technology" may be, on the one hand, an enlightening assessment of the technological condition of underdevelopment and, on the other hand, a helpful "focusing device" for an agenda on innovation systems at the periphery. Furtado's approach on inappropriate technology may uncover the social roots of the well know "low-growth trap" of less-developed economies. Celso Furtado explains how inappropriate technology is related to the polarization "modernization-marginalization" that characterizes economies with immature systems of innovation, as the Brazilian economy. This concept also highlights how difficult it is to overcome the complex interplay among unequal income distribution, localized and blocked technical progress and unsustainable economic growth. To overcome the inappropriate technology a dual institutional building seems to be necessary: the innovation systems might co-evolve with welfare systems.
    Keywords: Celso Furtado, evolutionary theory, innovation systems, welfare systems, catching up process
    JEL: O30 B29
    Date: 2005–03
  2. By: Bernard Enjolras (Institute for social research et MATISSE)
    Abstract: This anthology consists of a collection of articles that address two common questions : how institutions emerge from individual actions and how individual actions are shaped by institutions ? What unifies these contributions is the search of a theoretical explanation that overcomes the shortcomings of the rational choice explanations of social institutions. The approach developed here deals with two methodological problems that are pervasive in social sciences : that of the relationship between agency and structures and that of role of rationality and norms in explaining individual social behavior. Individuals are seen to be acting according to "conventions" that structure their interaction and that are cognitive and interpretative schemes that allow them to understand social reality and to give meaning to their actions. In addition individuals do not act either rationally or normatively but are conceived as acting within a "conventional" context that gives meaning to their action but also constrains them. They are supposed to be moved both by normative considerations and by self-interest that can conflict.
    Keywords: Convention, norm; rationality; collective action; agency; structure; social action; institution; governance; social change; community; nonprofit organizations; institutions
    JEL: C72 D70 H42 L3 L31 L32 L50
    Date: 2004–06
  3. By: A.W. Carus; Sheilagh Ogilvie
    Keywords: Many historians now reject quantitative methods as inappropriate to understanding past societies. It is argued here, however, that no sharp distinction between qualitative and quantitative concepts can be drawn, as almost any concept used to describe a past society is implicitly quantitative. Many recent advances in understanding have been achieved by deriving quantitative evidence from qualitative evidence, and using it jointly and dialectically with the qualitative evidence from which it is derived. Its reliability as quantitative evidence can be improved by indexing it against other quantitative evidence from the same community or population during the same period. We suggest that this triangulation method can be extended to many apparently qualitative types of sources that have not previously been used in this way. The potential of turning qualitative into quantitative evidence, then, despite its successes over the past decades, has hardly begun to be exploited.; quantitative methods; qualitative methods; methodology; economic history; local studies; case studies; cliometrics
    JEL: A12 B40 C10 C80 J10 N01 N30 N90
    Date: 2005–03

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