[OPE-L:8384] Re: Electronics and Value

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Fri Jan 24 2003 - 08:24:29 EST

Re Rakesh's [8380]:

> One interesting aspect here is the intl division of labor. As James
> Galbraith points out, the advanced countries tend to export
> knowledge intensive capital goods such as aeroplanes, medical
> equipment, speciality chips, software and import non R&D
> intensive goods such as clothes, toys, shoes, non speciality steel.

There is a lot of truth to this as a 'stylized fact'.  Yet, as with other
stylized facts,  when you get into the specifics of particular branches
of production then the picture becomes more complex.  For
instance, a significant percentage of software is not produced in
advanced capitalist economies (on the Indian software production
industry and 'intellectual property rights', see
http://www.apnic.net/mailing-lists/s-asia-it/archive/1999/10/msg00016.html )
and there is also a significant percentage of  'non-knowledge'
intensive goods being exported by advanced capitalist nations
(e.g. the US is a major exporter of grain).

The story on the Indian production of software is also interesting
because it connects well with this thread.  Of course, another 'hi-tech'
product (the chip) has long been produced in less developed
economies since the skill required in assembly-line production is
minimal (dexterity, endurance and eyesight are the most valued
'skills') and labour-power can be obtained at much lower wage
and benefit rates.  Is there any reason why 'specialty chips' will
continue to be produced primarily in advanced capitalist nations?

Solidarity, Jerry

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