Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center

How Are General-Purpose Technologies, Human Capital and Economic Growth Related?

Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center has published a new issue of the research digest. It presents the correlation between balanced long-term economic growth and new technologies as a factor of human capital development.

How Are General-Purpose Technologies, Human Capital and Economic Growth Related?

According to its author, Ilya Voskoboynikov, the project aims to learn how to distinguish the effect of global economic growth factors related to the economy and human capital from specific, local ones, determined by the peculiarities of the Russian economy and its interaction with the rest of the world, considering the growth of the Russian economy in an inter-country context. It involves highlighting technologies in all industries and describing the nature of technological development.

Over the past three decades, the level of Russia's integration into the world economy has increased. This integration has led to an increase in the influence of global factors on long-term Russian growth.

The author emphasizes that balanced long-term economic growth is formed due to the improvement of technologies and the special role of human capital. And economic growth in Russia is a consequence of the overlap of two groups of factors. The first group of factors is a global one, as it includes the effect of general-purpose technologies. The second group of factors is related to the specifics of a particular country – its geographical location, industry structure, institutions, involvement in world trade, external and internal shocks.

The adaptation of new technologies has made a significant contribution to the productivity growth of the Russian economy in the period 1999-2008. To a greater extent, this effect was manifested in the manufacturing industry. Technological convergence in the manufacturing industry was stronger than in market services, both in Russia and in the countries of Eastern Europe, former socialist countries.

It is known that the impact of the adaptation of more advanced technologies on economic growth is heterogeneous. The effect of special-purpose technologies is limited to improvements in the production of a certain set of products, while the effect of general-purpose technologies goes beyond the narrow tasks for which they were created and significantly changes the structure of the economy. It is difficult to determine which technologies have the properties of general-purpose technologies to a greater extent. Computers, the Internet, and the steam engine are the most striking examples of technologies that cause less controversy.

The identification of general-purpose technologies at an early stage of its development and distribution can accelerate economic growth through increasing the efficiency of the use of human capital.

Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center Digest Project is managed by Olga Voron.

The new issue of the research digest is available at the link.