Key Points:

  • Ricardo Hausmann is one of the world’s leading experts on what drives economic growth, especially in developing countries.
  • Professor Hausmann was in South Africa in February/March 2017 at the invitation of the Centre for Development and Enterprise, giving a series of lectures to various audiences both in government and out.
  • This report distils some of the key insights offered in those lectures. The first few entries set out how Professor Hausmann thinks development happens; the last set out his concerns about the deep, historical mistakes South Africa could be making.
  • A fundamental question economists ask is why people in some parts of the world are able to produce so much more value than people in other places or in the same place at earlier times.
  • A key part of the answer economists usually give is ‘technology’. But what is this? Economists do not define technology and many of them treat it almost like magic. For this reason they can’t tell you how it comes into existence and changes, how it moves from one place to another
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