Knowledge Problem and Emerging Economies

Knowledge Problem and Emerging Economies

Leonardo Baggiani (Independent Researcher, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/jsesd.2012010102
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The paper analyses the problem related to dispersion and substantial unconsciousness of the knowledge necessary for actions and decisions to coordinate within the economy at best. By the approach of the Austrian school of economics insights on various features of economic activity are exposed, which show the opportunity to realise a knowledge economy within the framework of a new free market experiment; as a consequence, governments must focus on how to improve the diffusion of existing knowledge instead of achieving their preferred industrial structure. Developments of information and communication technologies in emerging economies, especially the African ones, are here exposed as the perfect example of how some infrastructural deficiencies can be overcome by information and communication technologies; the current African renaissance therefore offers a real chance to implement knowledge economy prescriptions.
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1. Knowledge And Society: Why Central Planning Is Not Possible

Economics is a social science. It studies the economic side of society: how operators interact to manage never-ending needs and limited resources. We cannot therefore disregard social factors in analysing an economy, as it is a society seen by the economic perspective. For the purposes of this paper, economy is substantially equivalent to society.

When we talk about an economy, we talk about decisions, be they individual or institutional. For taking a decision, certain knowledge must be collected, then knowledge is one of the most important assets for a society. Knowledge of individual needs, knowledge of common needs for infrastructures, knowledge of priorities, knowledge of the most efficient ways to satisfy these needs, knowledge of the availability of resources and technologies, knowledge of the behaviour of individuals and institutions, and so on. All this knowledge is necessary for a society to coordinate its efforts to reach the best economic and social structure possible; knowledge is made up with all information – marginal utilities, expenses, opportunity costs, available resources and technologies – needed for the economic calculus by operators to lead the economy to its “social best”.

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