Summary: This Global Economic Prospects (GEP) is being released during a period of increased uncertainty following four years of record growth in developing countries, and a 15-year period of steady declines in poverty. Global growth slowed modestly in 2007, coming at 3.5 percent after 3.9 percent in 2006. Most of the slowdown was due to weaker growth in high-income countries. This GEP seeks to develop a better understanding of technology and its diffusion within the developing world. It adopts a broad definition of technology and technological progress, that encompasses the techniques (including the way the production process is organized) by which goods and services are produced, marketed, and made available to the public. This report takes a quantitative approach to understanding technology and technological progress. In chapter 2, it explores the level of, and recent trends in, technological achievement, as well as the process by which technology diffuses between and within countries. Chapter 3 concentrates on the process by which countries absorb foreign technology, both mechanisms through which they are exposed to foreign technologies, and the domestic factors that dictate how successfully those technologies are absorbed.
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