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Growth and Development in the Global Economy

Edited by Harry Bloch

What are the forces behind the increasing globalization of economic life? How does globalization affect the functioning of national economies? What difficulties confront government policymakers in dealing with the global economy? These issues are addressed in this volume by leading specialists. The contributors present a range of unique and varied perspectives from which they consider aspects of the increasing integration of economic life, exploring implications for the functioning of domestic markets in a rapidly changing global economy. The result is a collection of insights that provide a framework for understanding globalization as an economic phenomenon.
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Chapter 2: Institutions and the Knowledge Economy

J. Stan Metcalfe


* J. Stan Metcalfe Because different people can develop different skills, a knowledge rich society must be an ecology of specialists; knowledge is distributed within each human brain, within each organisation and within the economic and social system; and being distributed it can grow, provided that it is sufficiently coordinated to support increasing interdependencies. (Loasby 1999, p. 130) We can save men from hunger or misery or injustice, we can rescue men from slavery or imprisonment and do good . . . but any study of society shows that every solution creates a new situation which breeds its own new needs and problems. (Berlin, 1991, p. 14) We are active, we are constantly testing things out, constantly working with the method of trial and error. (Popper, 1987, p. 53) INTRODUCTION It is commonplace in modern times to claim not only that we live in a knowledge economy but also that knowledge is the font of human prosperity and its many corollaries. Yet every economy, always and everywhere, is a knowledge economy; for social systems, and economies are social systems, could not be arranged otherwise. What meaning can we assign to this current fashion for the knowledgeable economy? Is this a matter of new kinds of knowledge or of new ways of creating knowledge? Is it instead a misnomer arising from the confusion between information and knowledge? Could it be that the tenor of modern times has been to transform the manner in which information is generated, and stored? Yet again, is the question to...

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