Analyse: The thesis investigates the idea that there exists a separation between the presumption that technological diffusion has an important role to play in development and the evidence that developing countries have different access to imitation.

In order to understand this gap we interpret technological progress as a nonautomatic process.

Given this premise, the thesis shows that a developing country cannot become an effective imitator unless it has eliminated the obstacles to technological progress. Amongst these obstacles we focus our attention to the interactions between human capital accumulation and product development.

A better knowledge of this interdependence is helpful to understand why most developing countries are still barred from imitation.

The thesis presents and empirically tests a model of development where the ability of a country to create a human capital endowment is designed as a necessary condition for technological change.