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A critical realist interpretation of evolutionary growth theorising

  • Fulvio Castellacci

The paper discusses a critical realist interpretation of evolutionary growth theorising by focusing on some of its basic characteristics. The evolutionary ontology is complex, differentiated, structured, systemic, open, ever-changing and radically uncertain. Its methodology tends to be increasingly based on 'appreciative' theorising, retroductive explanations and interdisciplinary analysis. After discussing these features, the paper suggests that critical realism may indeed constitute an important philosophical and methodological foundation for the future development of evolutionary theories of economic growth. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/bel028
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 861-880

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:30:y:2006:i:6:p:861-880
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  1. Lawson, Tony, 1989. "Abstraction, Tendencies and Stylised Facts: A Realist Approach to Economic Analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 59-78, March.
  2. Stephen Pratten, 2005. "Economics as progress: the LSE approach to econometric modelling and critical realism as programmes for research," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 179-205, March.
  3. Northover, Patricia, 1999. "Evolutionary Growth Theory and Forms of Realism," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 33-63, January.
  4. Malerba, Franco, et al, 1999. "'History-Friendly' Models of Industry Evolution: The Computer Industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 3-40, March.
  5. Freeman, Chris & Louca, Francisco, 2002. "As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199251056, March.
  6. Frederic S. Lee, 2002. "Theory creation and the methodological foundation of Post Keynesian economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(6), pages 789-804, November.
  7. Jan Fagerberg, 1987. "A technology gap approach to why growth rates differ," Working Papers Archives 1987002, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  8. Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 2002. "Evolutionary Theorizing in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 23-46, Spring.
  9. Dosi, Giovanni, 1982. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 147-162, June.
  10. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 1998. "The Approach of Institutional Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 166-192, March.
  11. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
  12. Peter Nielsen, 2002. "Reflections on critical realism in political economy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(6), pages 727-738, November.
  13. G. Silverberg & B. Verspagen, 1995. "Evolutionary Theorizing on Economic Growth," Working Papers wp95078, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
  14. Peter, Fabienne, 2001. "Rhetoric vs Realism in Economic Methodology: A Critical Assessment of Recent Contributions," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(5), pages 571-89, September.
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