Innovation and Inequality

Innovation and Inequality

Emerging Technologies in an Unequal World

Edited by Susan Cozzens and Dhanaraj Thakur

Inequality is one of the main features of globalization. Do emerging technologies, as they spread around the world, contribute to more inequality or less? This unique interdisciplinary text examines the relationships between emerging technologies and social, economic and other forms of inequality.

Chapter 8: Emerging technologies in Argentina: access and distributional consequences

Isabel Bortagaray

Subjects: development studies, development studies, innovation and technology, innovation policy, technology and ict, politics and public policy, public policy

Extract

The case of Argentina illustrates the important role that national context plays in influencing the distributional consequences of emerging technologies. Specifically, the socio-economic structure of society has a key role to play. As noted in Chapter 2, while Argentina is one of the major economies of South America with an economy that can support the adoption and creation of emerging technologies, it has also been encumbered with an unstable and in some cases weak political and regulatory system. Inequality, which characterizes not only Argentina but the continent, takes on an important role under our framework and ultimately restricts the distributional boundaries of several emerging technologies. More specifically our expectations with regard to the distributional consequences of emerging technologies in Argentina are that (1) the economically better off in the context of inequality, may have full access to new technologies, while their distributional boundaries exclude many; (2) sophisticated national science and technology elites could emerge as champions for new technologies, competing with external ones; (3) these elites may also form the knowledge basis for effective regulatory regimes; while (4) unstable government funding may undermine public procurement as a route to distributing the benefits of new technologies broadly. This chapter examines the extent to which the evidence meets our expectations for this context. We start by first outlining the local and absorptive capacities related to the main technological projects that were analyzed, their respective regulatory environments and finally distributional consequences.

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