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State-directed diffusion of technology: The mechanization of cotton harvesting in Soviet Central Asia

By R. Pomfret


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

Topics: O33; N55; O13; P32; Q16; technological change in agriculture; innovation
Publisher: Cambridge Univ Press
Year: 2002
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