Basic Needs Approach, Appropriate Technology, and Institutionalism
Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 363-370, June 1988
8 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2009
Date Written: June 1, 1988
This paper reports on the convergence of Basic Needs Approach (BNA) and institutionalism in their views about technological development and the role of institutions. There exists a vast literature on BNA, including empirical works on almost all the least developed countries. However, despite its popularity, BNA's place in the chain of modern economic thought is not clear. Although BNA lacks theories, it has views on all of these matters, but the sources for these views are not clear. The concept of Appropriate Technology (AT) like BNA, is another contribution of the economics of dissent. AT poses an interesting case for studying the convergence between institutionalism and BNA because, on the one hand, the role of technology is at the core of institutionalist thought; on the other hand, AT is an essential element of BNA's attack upon the interrelated problems of underdevelopment. In the first explicit institutionalist response to AT, Thomas R. DeGregori, arguing for general rejection, asserted that technology by itself cannot be inappropriate and technological progress should be allowed to run its own evolutionary course.
Keywords: Economic Development, Basic Needs, Basic Needs Approach, Institutionalism, Growth Approach, Appropriate Technology, Intermediate Technology
JEL Classification: 010, 013, 014, 016, 017, 018, 043, B15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation