Technological change in developing countries: Trade-offs between economic, social, and environmental sustainability

Isabella Massa


Over the past years, the manufacturing sector has gone through a period of significant technological change. Technological innovation may bring significant socio-economic benefits and improve the environmental prospects, but it may also pose severe challenges to the economy, human well-being, and the environment. The aim of this paper is to review and discuss the existing literature on the economic/social, social/environmental, and environmental/economic trade-offs stemming from technological change in the manufacturing sector, with a focus on developing countries. The policy designs proposed in the literature to minimise the trade-offs arising from technological innovation and to achieve technology-driven sustained economic growth, social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability are also examined.

JEL Classification: O11, O13, O14, O15, O33, O38

Keywords: technological change; developing countries; manufacturing; trade-offs; growth; social inclusiveness; environmental sustainability.

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