By Austin Robinson
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Additional info for Appropriate Technologies for Third World Development: Proceedings of a Conference held by the International Economic Association at Teheran, Iran
It would be more difficult to recreate the skills of eighteenth-century watch-making than to develop a suitable modem intermediate technology. I shall come back to this later. It needs to be borne in mind, moreover, that machinery and manufacturing equipment represents in many cases only a half or less of the total capital employed by a firm. In some cases analysed by teams working at the David Uvingstone Institute at the University of Strathclyde, the capital embodied in machinery and equipment varied from 25 to 55 per cent of the total capital; that invested in buildings varied from 7 to 20 per cent; the investment in working capital represented 30 to 70 per cent of the whole.
What is more important is that developing countries in the earlier stages of development are likely to be primarily concerned with types of industrial developments which in all countries, advanced as well as backward, are conducted on a relatively small-scale. Even today a very large part of all industry in advanced countries is conducted in plants employing less than 200 workers. In the first stages it is the efficient equipment of these which is most relevant. There is another aspect of the same problem that requires thought.
General equilibrium analysis would ensure that there were not too many lossmaking projects. There was nothing in the project evaluation approach to prevent one also looking at other tools of economic policy, such as the fiscal tool. All tools should be considered together, not in isolation. 3 The Availability of Appropriate Technologies Austin Robinson CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY I INTRODUCTORY Do appropriate technologies exist, or do they have to be created? If that question is to be answered, it is necessary to be very clear what one means by an appropriate technology.
Appropriate Technologies for Third World Development: Proceedings of a Conference held by the International Economic Association at Teheran, Iran by Austin Robinson