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The Road Not Taken and Other Selected Poems


Summary of "The Road Not Taken: What Is The ‘Appropriate’ Path to Development When Growth is Unbalanced?"

This paper, authored by Ahmed S. Rahman of the United States Naval Academy and published in Macroeconomic Dynamics in 2013, explores the intricate relationship between technology development and demographic choices in the context of unbalanced economic growth. Rahman develops a model that endogenizes both directed technological advancements and demographic decisions, providing a framework to understand how these two factors interact and influence each other in the path towards economic development.

Key Points

  • Model Development: The model introduced by Rahman takes into account the decisions of potential innovators regarding which technologies to develop. This decision-making process is influenced by the available factors of production. Simultaneously, individuals make choices about the quality and quantity of their offspring based on the technological landscape and its implications for future generations.

  • Economic Development: The paper argues that the direction of technology development and demographic choices are crucial for understanding the dynamics of economic growth, especially in scenarios where growth is unbalanced. The interaction between technology and demography can lead to multiple pathways of development, some of which may be more sustainable and equitable than others.

  • Policy Implications: Although the summary does not detail specific policy recommendations, the findings suggest that policies aimed at influencing the direction of technological innovation and demographic trends could play a significant role in shaping a country's developmental trajectory. This includes considerations on education, healthcare, and innovation policies that align with long-term sustainable growth objectives.


"The Road Not Taken" provides a nuanced view on the role of technology and demography in economic development, challenging the conventional wisdom that focuses solely on either aspect. By highlighting the interconnectedness of these factors, Rahman's work encourages policymakers and scholars to consider a more holistic approach to understanding and fostering development, especially in contexts where growth patterns are unbalanced.