Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This article traces the process in which Taiwanese economic bureaucrats, a Cornell economics professor, and pioneering computer users worked together to visualize, represent, and make sense of economic activities in Taiwan through inter-industry input-output tables. The article highlights three ways in which the production of economic knowledge was contingent on computer power and geopolitics. First, it unpacks the participation of Taiwanese historical actors at the frontlines of Cold War economic competition between Taiwan and China. Second, the article reveals how U.S. and UN aid provided the necessary technological resources for relevant econometric calculations. Finally, the stochastic nature of economic planning is illustrated in the constant adjustment of inter-industry tables to the capacity of available computers for its arduous calculation and interpretation of incomprehensive data. In sum, this article elaborates on the critical role of computing technology during the Cold War, especially in an East Asian geopolitical context.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1097-3729
Print ISSN
0040-165X
Pages
pp. S66-S99
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-28
Open Access
No
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