Lahore School of Economics

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Technology, Entrepreneurship and Productivity Growth – Where Pakistan stands and where it must go

Lahore School of Economics
The Twelfth Annual Conference on Management of Pakistan Economy
30 - 31 March 2016


Technology, Entrepreneurship and Productivity Growth – Where Pakistan stands and where it must go
Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.
Paul Krugman, The Age of Diminishing Expectations (1994)

Productivity growth is the foundation for rising living standards and a country’s ability to compete in the world market. Productivity improves when producers’ seek to do better in terms of cost as well as quality of what they produce. And this entails tapping new technologies and finding innovative ways of producing and delivering to the consumer what is produced. And that is what entrepreneurship (in the Schumpeterian sense) is all about.

Subjects to be covered at the conference:

  1. Why productivity growth matters? Pakistan’s own experience in this respect. The average productivity growth has been clearly low, but the average might hide a wide diversity of experience. The question then arises why/how some firms in the same industry are able to perform better than others.
  2. Productivity growth depends on investment in more productive/efficient equipment, introduction of new production techniques, and human capital, all that an entrepreneur is supposed to do. Causes of failure of entrepreneurship: macroeconomic management; failure of competition; financial policy/sources of financing/institutions discourage long-term investments. Are there any social determinants of entrepreneurship?
  3. Technology/innovation – demand side: Do Pak firms actively seek out new ideas, new technologies, talent and adapt themselves to changing circumstance.
  4. Technology/innovation – supply side (imitation/innovation are practically indistinguishable): Domestic R&D to create knowledge; import of foreign technologies through FDI, subcontracting etc.
  5. Can entrepreneurship be deliberately stimulated through policy and institutions? Examples of Pakistani success stories: cases where firms have grown from a small size to becoming big.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1/12/2016 04:16:00 PM,

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