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From tradition to modernity: Economic growth in a small world

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  • Lindner, Ines
  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

This paper introduces the Small World model into the theory of economic growth and investigates how increasing economic integration affects firm size and efficiency, norm enforcement, and aggregate economic performance. When economic integration is low and local connectivity is high, informal norms control entrepreneurial behavior and more integration mainly improves search for investment opportunities. At a higher level of economic integration neighborhood enforcement deteriorates and formal institutions are needed to keep entrepreneurs in check. A gradual take-off to perpetual growth is explained by a feedback effect from investment to the formation of long-distance links and the diffusion of knowledge. If formal institutions are weak, however, the economy does not take off but stagnates at an intermediate income level. Structurally, the equilibrium of stagnation differs from balanced growth by the presence of many small firms with low productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindner, Ines & Strulik, Holger, 2014. "From tradition to modernity: Economic growth in a small world," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 17-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:109:y:2014:i:c:p:17-29
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.03.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lindner, Ines & Strulik, Holger, 2014. "The great divergence: A network approach," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 193, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. Ines Lindner & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Innovation and Inequality in a Small World," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-057/II, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Hippolyte D'Albis & Angela Greulich & Grégory Ponthière, 2017. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A unified growth theory," PSE Working Papers halshs-01452846, HAL.
    4. Robert Huggins & Piers Thompson, 2015. "Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional growth: a network theory," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 103-128, June.
    5. Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2013. "Trade and productivity: The family connection redux," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 159, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    6. repec:spr:jeicoo:v:13:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11403-017-0202-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Vincenzo Lombardo & Alberto Zazzaro, 2015. "Family Firms and Entrepreneurial Human Capital in the Process of Development," CSEF Working Papers 400, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Modernization; Economic integration; Firm size; Norms; Networks; Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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