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Innovation, Changes of Techno-Economic Paradigm and Biological Analogies in Economics

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  • Christopher Freeman
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    Abstract

    [fre] Innovation, Changes of Techno-Economic Paradigm and Biological Analogies in Economies. . Quelle place faut-il donner aux analogies biologiques dans la théorie de l'économie évolutionniste ?. Tout en reconnaissant le rôle positif de telles analogies dans la mesure où elles stimulent le développement d'une approche historique des systèmes économiques et l'importance des processus sélectifs dans le développement de la science et de la technologie, l'article explique pourquoi pousser trop loin l'analogie biologique présente de très sérieux dangers. Non seulement le milieu social est beaucoup plus complexe que le milieu naturel, mais le rôle de l'intervention intentionnelle est tout à fait différent dans l'évolution de la technologie. Les économistes et théoriciens des sciences sociales n'ont par conséquent pas d'autres alternatives que d'abandonner les modèles des sciences de la nature, qu'ils savent mécaniques ou biologiques, pour construire leurs propres modèles adaptés aux systèmes qu'ils étudient. Une approche possible est la notion de paradigme techno-économique. [eng] Innovation, changes of techno-economic paradigm and biological analogies in economics. . This paper discusses the use of biological analogies in the theory of evolutionary economics. Whilst recognising the positive role of such analogies in stimulating an historical approach to economic Systems and whilst also recognising that selective processes do indeed play an important part in the development of science and technology, the paper nevertheless argues that there are serious dangers in pushing the biological analogy too far. Not only is the social environment much more complex than the natural environment but the role of purposive intervention is altogether different in the evolution of technology. Economists and other social scientists therefore have no other alternative but to leave the models of the natural sciences, whether mechanical or biological, and develop their own models appropriate to the Systems which they investigate. One such possible approach is the notion of the techno-economic paradigm.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue économique.

    Volume (Year): 42 (1991)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 211-232

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_1991_num_42_2_409276

    Note: DOI:10.2307/3502005
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    Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/reco

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    Cited by:
    1. Zeting LIU, 2011. "Les politiques d’innovation françaises et la place des PME : une revue historique FRENCH INNOVATION POLICIES AND THE ROLE OF SMES: A HISTORICAL REVIEW," Working Papers 23, Réseau de Recherche sur l’Innovation. / Research Network on Innovation.
    2. Philip Faulkner & Clive Lawson & Jochen Runde, 2010. "Theorising technology," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-16, January.
    3. Chad M. Baum, 2013. "Mass-Produced Food: the Rise and Fall of the Promise of Health and Safety," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-03, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
    4. Harabi, Najib, 1993. "Technologische Chancen Und Technischer Fortschritt: Eine Empirische Untersuchung
      [Technological Opportunities and Technical Progress: An empirical Analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 5529, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Nelly-Eleni Pavlidou & Persefoni V. Tsaliki & Ioannis N. Vardalachakis, 2011. "Technical change, unemployment and labor skills," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 595-606, July.
    6. Saviotti, Pier Paolo & Pyka, Andreas, 2004. "Economic development, qualitative change and employment creation," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 265-287, September.
    7. Silva, Ester G. & Teixeira, Aurora A.C., 2008. "Surveying structural change: Seminal contributions and a bibliometric account," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 273-300, December.
    8. Consoli, Davide, 2005. "The dynamics of technological change in UK retail banking services: An evolutionary perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 461-480, May.
    9. Frenken, K. & Nuvolari, A., 2002. "Entropy Statistics as a Framework to Analyse Technological Evolution," Working Papers 02.15, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
    10. Davide Consoli, 2003. "The evolution of retail banking services in United Kingdom: a retrospective analysis," Industrial Organization 0310002, EconWPA.

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