Dani Rodrik has, I think, a better way to frame the problems that he and Richard Baldwin are both thinking about this winter: Dani Rodrik: The Good Jobs Challenge: "[For] developing countries... existing technologies allow insufficient room for factor substitution: using less-skilled labor instead of skilled professionals or physical capital. The demanding quality standards needed to supply global value chains cannot be easily met by replacing machines with manual labor. This is why globally integrated production in even the most labor-abundant countries, such as India or Ethiopia, relies on relatively capital-intensive methods.... The standard remedy of improving educational institutions does not yield near-term benefits, while the economy’s most advanced sectors are unable to absorb the excess supply of low-skilled workers. Solving this problem may require... boosting an intermediate range of labor-intensive, low-skilled economic activities. Tourism and non-traditional agriculture... public employment ... non-tradable services carried out by small and medium-size enterprises, will not be among the most productive, which is why they are rarely the focus of industrial or innovation policies. But they may still provide significantly better jobs than the alternatives in the informal sector...


#noted

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