Variable: Technology

Technology can be defined as "the application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives"; or "the body of knowledge available to a society that is of use in fashioning implements, practicing manual arts and skills, and extracting or collecting materials" (dictionary.com).

Technology can be measured in terms of type (pre-industrial, industry, post-industrial), availability (number of MRI machines/unit of population), and access (average price of new car as proportion of average family income).

While in the human ecosystem framework, technology could be defined as a form of capital, it also constitutes a distinct socioeconomic resource in that its relative level and abundance influences social institutions and structures. The ability to harness and use technology to achieve individual or collective needs differs by socioeconomic status and geography. In addition, technology can alter the flow and distribution of other resources; for example, biophysical resources may be depleted more or less quickly depending upon the level of technological advancement of a particular place.

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