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Electronics and Industrial Policy: The case of computer by Staffan Jacobsson

By Staffan Jacobsson

There is a speedily increasing literature at the economics of the so­ referred to as 'new applied sciences' - particularly on these utilizing microelectronic platforms. Dr. Jacobsson's publication bargains with microelectronics-based innovation in desktop instruments: with the construction and use of machine numerically managed desktop instruments on this planet economic climate and particularly within the 3rd global. Jacobsson is especially drawn to the consequences which CNC desktop instruments will be anticipated to have for clients and manufacturers within the Newly Industrialising international locations. He techniques this as an issue in utilized economics and the publication can have a first-rate curiosity for these economists whose crisis is with the issues of industrialisation in constructing international locations. it will likely be parti­ cularly worthy to those that are preoccupied with the function of neighborhood capital items manufacture and with the technological preconditions for this type of construction. Jacobsson is ready to supply designated and particular arguments on those concerns so far as CNC laptop instruments are involved. for my part, the e-book has a significantly wider curiosity and relevance than its specification may possibly in the beginning sight recommend. Jacobsson's in achieving­ ment is not only that he has supplied helpful and convincing quantita­ tive arguments approximately coverage in developing creation of CNC computing device instruments. additionally, he has set a brand new and lots more and plenty wanted methodological ordinary for research of the affects of 'new applied sciences' at the foreign economy.

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In all countries where interviews have been carried out it is claimed that skilled workers are scarce, this includes old industrial nations such as the UK and Sweden. In Argentina, some firms complained that it THE TECHNOLOGY AND ITS DIFFUSION 25 was difficult to find skilled workers, even in a recession. Other firms claimed, however, that they could be found although when the economy picked up again there would be a shortage since, in the meantime, the skilled workers had left the occupation for other more lucrative work.

Given the assumptions of a depreciation time of ten years, an interest rate of 15 per cent and a p- factor of 3, production costs per unit of output with the CNC lathes were only 60 per cent compared with conventional machine tools. Using the CNC lathes implied an increase in capital costs of 27 per cent, and a large decrease in labour costs of 62 per cent. a. Building costs Labour costs Total costs 875,000 793,968 1,668,968 Conventional lathes 560,000 + 126,000b 2,101,680 2,787,680 Source: Elaboration of data supplied by the firm.

This means that the CNC lathe represents a technical change, the appropriateness of which is a function of the degree of scarcity of skilled labour compared to semi-skilled labour and to capital. If we assume that the scarcity of skilled labour in relation to semi-skilled labour is greater in the NICs than in the developed countries, we would be forced to the conclusion that we are witnessing a technical change that has its origin in the developed countries but that is of a greater potential benefit to the NICs.

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