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Technology, resources and geography in a paradigm shift: the case of Critical & Conflict Materials in ICTs

Diemer, Andreas, Iammarino, Simona ORCID: 0000-0001-9450-1700, Perkins, Richard and Gros, Axel (2021) Technology, resources and geography in a paradigm shift: the case of Critical & Conflict Materials in ICTs. Geography and Environment Discussion Paper Series (29). Department of Geography and Environment, LSE, London, UK.

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Abstract

The mining of several critical raw materials – including the so-called ‘conflict minerals’ associated with armed conflict and human rights abuses – and their combination, refining and use in many new advanced electronic products, are providing an important material infrastructure to current technological progress. Relying on text analysis of USPTO patent data between 1976 and 2017, our explorative study provides a methodological and empirical starting point for exploring the technological and geographical linkages between technological paradigms and selected critical and conflict materials (CCMs). Our descriptive analysis finds evidence of a clear association between ICT technologies and CCM intensity over time, and of a striking resource-technology divide in global ICT value chains between value creating and value extracting activities across Global North and Global South and their regions. The paperintends to emphasize the need for a more critical, spatially sensitive approach to studying resource-based technological change to expose the uneven development consequences created, sustained, or mitigated by technological progress.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/geography-and-environment/res...
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
T Technology > T Technology (General)
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O30 - General
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q3 - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation > Q34 - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q55 - Technological Innovation
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R11 - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, and Changes
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2021 07:48
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 00:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/111894

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