Published online by Cambridge University Press 22 May 2002When Soviet central planners began to mechanize the cotton harvest in earnest in 1958, they expected more rapid diffusion than the market-driven process that had begun in the United States a decade earlier. But despite high output of cotton-picking machines, the share of the crop harvested mechanically grew more slowly than in the United States. The factor proportions in Central Asia did not justify mechanization: although planners could enforce introduction of the new technology, investment in cotton-harvesting machines was largely a waste of resources. The costs of premature introduction are estimated at over $1 billion in 1960s prices.Richard Pomfre
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