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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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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. More on institutions and growth
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-09-15 19:41:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Ines Lindner & Holger Strulik, 2020. "Innovation And Inequality In A Small World," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 61(2), pages 683-719, May.
    2. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Greulich, Angela & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2018. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A Unified Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 461-494.
    3. Javier Mejia, 2018. "Social Networks and Entrepreneurship. Evidence from a Historical Episode of Industrialization," Working Papers 20180020, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Sep 2018.
    4. Atangana Ondoa Henri, 2019. "Heavily indebted poor countries initiative (HIPC), debt relief, economic stability and economic growth in Africa," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 89-121, May.
    5. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Greulich, Angela & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2018. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A Unified Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 461-494.
    6. Gian Paolo Clemente & Marco Fattore & Rosanna Grassi, 2018. "Structural comparisons of networks and model-based detection of small-worldness," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 13(1), pages 117-141, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Javier Mejia, 2018. "Social Interactions and Modern Economic Growth," Documentos CEDE 016379, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    9. Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Trade and productivity: The family connection redux," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 276-291.
    10. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Greulich, Angela & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2018. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A Unified Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 461-494.
    11. Robert Huggins & Piers Thompson, 2015. "Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional growth: a network theory," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 103-128, June.
    12. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Modernization; Economic integration; Firm size; Norms; Networks; Growth;
    All these keywords.

    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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