Escape from the Commodity Trap: Will the Production Transformation Sustain Productivity, Growth and Jobs?


The emerging transformation of the production of goods and services is dramatically altering what is produced, where, how, and who captures the value. It creates opportunities and challenges. Part I of this essay examines the transformation of production and its acceleration by Cloud Computing. A first argument is that the transformation of production, including both manufacturing and ICT-enabled services should be our focus. A second argument is that ICT enabled services are a source of distinct value in the economy. Third, it considers the distinct and contradictory challenges facing manufacturing. The fourth argument is that the transformation of production will be accelerated by the emergence of Cloud Computing as the next Information Technology Platform. Part II of the essay makes a few focused policy suggestions and considers several issues policy makers need to consider as they frame policy. The emphasis is on the role of next generation tools and competencies of “places”. The crucial policy question is how to nudge that transformation in the advanced countries toward higher value added, higher skilled, higher wage solutions.

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Publication date: 
March 1, 2014
Publication type: 
Journal Article