From Indoctrination to the Culture of Change: Technological Progress, Adaptive Skills, and the Creativity of Nations

29 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2000

See all articles by Murat Iyigun

Murat Iyigun

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics; Harvard University - Center for International Development (CID); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ann L. Owen

Hamilton College - Economics Department

Date Written: July 1999

Abstract

We distinguish learning in a static environment from that in a dynamic environment to show the existence of an important interaction between the development of new technologies and human capital accumulation. Since technological progress creates a more dynamic and uncertain environment, it not only increases the rewards to education and ability but also enhances adaptive skills. The latter in turn determine how effectively new technologies are utilized in production because they help the workforce to innovate and improve new technologies. Thus, the adaptive skills of a workforce are an important link with which inventions and innovations play complementary roles in technological progress. Our results suggest why countries that have comparable levels of aggregate human capital and that are in similar stages of development may differ significantly in how successful they are in implementing new technologies. They also show how the intergenerational transmission of knowledge evolves endogenously with technological change. If technology changes rapidly during the process of development, learning fosters the intergenerational propogation of adaptive skills. In contrast, if technological progress is slow during development, the education of the young reinforces the learning of long-held norms.

Keywords: Inventions, Innovations, Learning, Human Capital, Growth

JEL Classification: I20, J24, O11, O31, O40

Suggested Citation

Iyigun, Murat F. and Owen, Ann L., From Indoctrination to the Culture of Change: Technological Progress, Adaptive Skills, and the Creativity of Nations (July 1999). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=231791 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.231791

Murat F. Iyigun (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-492-6653 (Phone)
303-492-8622 (Fax)

Harvard University - Center for International Development (CID) ( email )

One Eliot Street Building
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ann L. Owen

Hamilton College - Economics Department ( email )

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
United States
315-859-4419 (Phone)
303-859-4477 (Fax)

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