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Exploring Evolutionary Economic Geographies

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  • Jürgen Essletzbichler

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  • David L. Rigby

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    Abstract

    Evolutionary approaches in economics have gathered increasing support over the last 25 years. Despite an impressive body of literature, economists are still far from formulating a coherent research paradigm. The multitude of approaches in evolutionary economics poses problems for the development of an evolutionary economic geography. For the most part, evolutionary economic geography imports selective concepts from evolutionary biology and economics and applies those concepts to specific problems within economic geography. We discuss a number of problems with this approach and suggest that a more powerful and appealing alternative requires the development of theoretically consistent models of evolutionary processes. This paper outlines the contours of an evolutionary model of economic dynamics where economic agents are located in different geographical spaces. We seek to show how competition between those agents, based on the core evolutionary principles of variety, selection and retention, may produce distinct economic regions sharing properties that differentiate them from competitors elsewhere. These arguments are extended to illustrate how the emergent properties of economic agents and places co-evolve and lead to different trajectories of economic development over space.

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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0702.pdf
    File Function: Version April 2007
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 0702.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2007
    Date of revision: Apr 2007
    Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0702

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    Related research

    Keywords: evolutionary economics; economic geography; Generalized Darwinism; biological metaphors; self-organization;

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    Cited by:
    1. Dirk Czarnitzki & Hanna Hottenrott, 2009. "Are Local Milieus The Key To Innovation Performance?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 81-112.
    2. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2007. "Complexity thinking and evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 573-601, September.
    3. Martin, Ron & Sunley, Peter, 2012. "Forms of emergence and the evolution of economic landscapes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 338-351.
    4. Simone Strambach, 2008. "Path Dependency and Path Plasticity: the Co-evolution of Institutions and Innovation - the German Customized Business Software Industry," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2008-02, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    5. Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2011. "The emerging empirics of evolutionary economic geography," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1101, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jan 2011.
    6. Heike Schroeder, 2011. "Application possibilities of the micro-meso-macro framework in economic geography," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1115, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2011.
    7. Jun Zhang, 2011. "Related Variety, Global Connectivity and Institutional Embeddedness: Internet Development in Beijing and Shanghai Compared," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1110, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jun 2011.
    8. Anne Tanner, 2011. "The place of new industries: the case of fuel cell technology and its technological relatedness to regional knowledge bases," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1113, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jul 2011.
    9. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2014. "Towards a Developmental Turn in Evolutionary Economic Geography?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1401, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jan 2014.

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