Carlota Perez (Spanish: Carlota Pérez; born September 20, 1939 in Caracas) is a Venezuelan scholar specialized on technology and socio-economic development. She researches the concept of Techno-Economic Paradigm Shifts and the theory of great surges, a further development of Schumpeter's work on Kondratieff waves. In 2012 she was awarded the Silver Kondratieff Medal by the International N. D. Kondratieff Foundation.
Perez is currently Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, and since 2006, Professor of Technology and Socio-Economic Development at Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia. In 2003–2005, she was Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Financial Analysis & Policy (CFAP), part of the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge, where she remains as Research Affiliate. She is also Honorary Professor at SPRU, University of Sussex. She is particularly active as an international consultant and lecturer.
Perez has held posts in the government of her country, first in the Institute of Foreign Commerce in relation with the technology aspects of the North South Dialogue (1975–1977), later as founding Director of Technology in the Ministry of Industry (1980–1983). Under her directorship, the first venture capital agency, FINTEC, was established. She has been consultant to most of the major public and private companies in Venezuela, in particular to INTEVEP, the Research and Development affiliate of PDVSA, the national petroleum company.
As international consultant, she has worked for various multilateral organizations, including the OECD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNESCO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank. She has been consultant for major corporations (IBM, Ericsson, Telefónica, Cisco, etc.) in private companies and business events. She has advised various industry associations, Ministries and Councils of Industry or Science and Technology, R&D institutes and development banks in Latin America (Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Brazil) and other regions (Canada, Norway, Estonia). Several elements of the European Union's Lisbon Strategy were based on her work as well.
Carlota Perez is a neo-Schumpeterian and a student of Christopher Freeman, with whom she closely collaborated. Her articles, from the early 1980s, have contributed to the present understanding of the relationship between basic innovations, technical and institutional change, and economic development. Her book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital has had a very positive response from academics as well as from the financial and the technology-based business communities. The book has contributed to a Schumpeterian understanding of the link between innovation and financial dynamics. In it Perez, speaking from 2002, lays out a history of five technological revolutions that follow a similar pattern of bang, bust and, hopefully, renewal.
So during this period, financial capital generates a powerful magnet to attract investment into the new areas, hence accelerating the hold of the paradigm on what becomes the 'new economy'.
...In a world of capital gains, real estate bubbles and foreign adventures with money, all notion of the real value of anything is lost. Uncontrollable asset inflation sets in while debt mounts at a reckless rhythm; much of it to enter the casino.— Carlota Perez, Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, p. 75
- Carlota Perez. Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages. London: Elgar 2002. (ISBN 1-84376-331-1)
- Wolfgang Drechsler, Rainer Kattel and Erik S. Reinert, eds. Techno-Economic Paradigms: Essays in Honour of Carlota Perez. London: Anthem, 2009. (ISBN 9781843317852)
- Carlota Perez.Technological revolutions and techno-economic paradigms.: in Working Papers in Technology Governance and Economic Dynamics, Working Paper No. 20, Tallin: Norway and Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn 2009.
- Techno-Economic Paradigms: Essays in Honour of Carlota Perez, Anthem Press, 2009, p. 395.
- The International N. D. Kondratieff Foundation Archived October 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- Professor of Technology and Development, London School of Economics
- Technology Governance graduate degree, Tallinn University of Technology
- Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex