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Economic Development from the Perspective of Evolutionary Economic Theory

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  • Richard Nelson

Abstract

Sanjaya Lall saw economic development as an evolutionary process, with technological learning at its heart. This essay lays out the key differences between an evolutionary theory of economic activity and change, and the neoclassical theory as articulated in economic textbooks. It argues that only an evolutionary theory fits what is known about how technological learning progresses. It also argues for recognition, right at the basis of economic theorizing, that modern economic systems contain a rich mix of institutions, not simply the firms, households and markets that are in neoclassical theory, and that the roles of government cannot be adequately understood as simply responses to “market failures”. It develops a view that long-run economic change must be understood as involving the co-evolution of technologies in use and the institutional structures supporting and regulating these.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 9-21

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:9-21

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Cited by:
  1. Evelyn S. Devadason, 2013. "Book Review: Innovation and Learning Experiences in Rapidly Developing East Asia, by Rajah Rasiah, Thiruchelvam Kanagasundram and Keun Lee (eds), London and New York: Routledge, 2012, 144 pp," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 5(1), pages 113-116, April.
  2. Américo Tristão Bernardes & Ricardo Machado Ruiz & Leonardo Costa Ribeiro & Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque, 2006. "Modeling economic growth fuelled by science and technology," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td294, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
  3. Yanjun Guo & Yansui Liu & Qi Wen & Yurui Li, 2014. "The Transformation of Agricultural Development towards a Sustainable Future from an Evolutionary View on the Chinese Loess Plateau: A Case Study of Fuxian County," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(6), pages 3644-3668, June.
  4. Guennif, Samira & Ramani, Shyama V., 2012. "Explaining divergence in catching-up in pharma between India and Brazil using the NSI framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 430-441.
  5. Wignaraja, Ganeshan & Krüger, Jens & Tuazon, Anna Mae, 2013. "Production Networks, Profits, and Innovative Activity: Evidence from Malaysia and Thailand," ADBI Working Papers 406, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  6. Jinfeng Wang & Xuhua Liu & Hongyan Chen, 2011. "Construction of a Cities Evolution Tree, with Applications," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1360, European Regional Science Association.
  7. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00632439 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque, 2005. "Inadequacy of technology and innovation systems at the periphery: notes on Celso Furtado's contributions for a dialogue between evolutionists and structuralists," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td254, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
  9. Samira Guennif & Shyama Ramani, 2010. "Catching up in pharmaceuticals: a comparative study of India and Brazil," CEPN Working Papers hal-00632439, HAL.
  10. Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 2012. "Do Exporting Firms in the People’s Republic of China Innovate?," ADBI Working Papers 365, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  11. Bart Nooteboom, 2014. "In What Sense do Firms Evolve?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 234(2-3), pages 185-209, April.
  12. Lenihan, Helena, 2011. "Enterprise policy evaluation: Is there a 'new' way of doing it?," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 323-332, November.
  13. Rajah Rasiah & Jebamalai Vinanchiarachi, 2013. "Institutional Support and Technological Upgrading: Evidence from Dynamic Clusters in Latin America and Asia," World Economic Review, World Economics Association, vol. 2013(2), pages 24, February.
  14. Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 2012. "Innovation, learning, and exporting in China: Does R&D or a technology index matter?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 224-233.
  15. John Dunning & Sarianna Lundan, 2008. "Institutions and the OLI paradigm of the multinational enterprise," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 573-593, December.

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