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Innovation, Changes of Techno-Economic Paradigm and Biological Analogies in Economics


  • Christopher Freeman


[eng] Innovation, changes of techno-economic paradigm and biological analogies in economics. . This paper discusses the use of biological analogies in the theory of evolutionary economics. Whilst recognising the positive role of such analogies in stimulating an historical approach to economic Systems and whilst also recognising that selective processes do indeed play an important part in the development of science and technology, the paper nevertheless argues that there are serious dangers in pushing the biological analogy too far. Not only is the social environment much more complex than the natural environment but the role of purposive intervention is altogether different in the evolution of technology. Economists and other social scientists therefore have no other alternative but to leave the models of the natural sciences, whether mechanical or biological, and develop their own models appropriate to the Systems which they investigate. One such possible approach is the notion of the techno-economic paradigm. [fre] Innovation, Changes of Techno-Economic Paradigm and Biological Analogies in Economies. . Quelle place faut-il donner aux analogies biologiques dans la théorie de l'économie évolutionniste ?. Tout en reconnaissant le rôle positif de telles analogies dans la mesure où elles stimulent le développement d'une approche historique des systèmes économiques et l'importance des processus sélectifs dans le développement de la science et de la technologie, l'article explique pourquoi pousser trop loin l'analogie biologique présente de très sérieux dangers. Non seulement le milieu social est beaucoup plus complexe que le milieu naturel, mais le rôle de l'intervention intentionnelle est tout à fait différent dans l'évolution de la technologie. Les économistes et théoriciens des sciences sociales n'ont par conséquent pas d'autres alternatives que d'abandonner les modèles des sciences de la nature, qu'ils savent mécaniques ou biologiques, pour construire leurs propres modèles adaptés aux systèmes qu'ils étudient. Une approche possible est la notion de paradigme techno-économique.

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  • Christopher Freeman, 1991. "Innovation, Changes of Techno-Economic Paradigm and Biological Analogies in Economics," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 42(2), pages 211-232.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_1991_num_42_2_409276

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
    2. Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
    3. Giovanni Dosi & Christopher Freeman & Richard Nelson & Gerarld Silverberg & Luc Soete (ed.), 1988. "Technical Change and Economic Theory," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1988, August.
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    1. Fındık, Derya & Tansel, Aysit, 2013. "Resources on the stage: a firm level analysis of the ict adoption in Turkey," MPRA Paper 65956, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Aug 2014.
    2. Harabi, Najib, 1993. "Technologische Chancen Und Technischer Fortschritt: Eine Empirische Untersuchung
      [Technological Opportunities and Technical Progress: An empirical Analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 5529, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Silva, Ester G. & Teixeira, Aurora A.C., 2008. "Surveying structural change: Seminal contributions and a bibliometric account," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 273-300, December.
    4. Davide Consoli, 2003. "The evolution of retail banking services in United Kingdom: a retrospective analysis," Industrial Organization 0310002, EconWPA.
    5. Camal Gallouj & Faïz Gallouj, 2000. "Neo-Schumpeterian perspectives on Innovation in Services," Post-Print halshs-01114125, HAL.
    6. Chad M. Baum, 2013. "Mass-Produced Food: the Rise and Fall of the Promise of Health and Safety," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    7. Saviotti, Pier Paolo & Pyka, Andreas, 2004. "Economic development, qualitative change and employment creation," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 265-287, September.
    8. Nelly-Eleni Pavlidou & Persefoni V. Tsaliki & Ioannis N. Vardalachakis, 2011. "Technical change, unemployment and labor skills," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 595-606, June.
    9. FaÏz Gallouj, 1998. "Les trajectoires de l’innovation dans les services : vers un enrichissement des taxonomies évolutionnistes," Post-Print halshs-01114020, HAL.
    10. Koen Frenken & Alessandro Nuvolari, 2004. "Entropy statistics as a framework to analyse technological evolution," Chapters,in: Applied Evolutionary Economics and Complex Systems, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Philip Faulkner & Clive Lawson & Jochen Runde, 2010. "Theorising technology," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-16, January.
    12. Corinne Duverger, 1993. "Altruism and the "metaphorical model"
      [Altruisme et modèle métaphorique]
      ," Working Papers hal-01527278, HAL.
    13. Jarunee Wonglimpiyarat, 2016. "Technological Change of the Innovation Payment System," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(04), pages 1-20, August.
    14. Consoli, Davide, 2005. "The dynamics of technological change in UK retail banking services: An evolutionary perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 461-480, May.
    15. Zeting LIU, 2011. "Les politiques d’innovation françaises et la place des PME : une revue historique FRENCH INNOVATION POLICIES AND THE ROLE OF SMES: A HISTORICAL REVIEW," Working Papers 23, Réseau de Recherche sur l’Innovation. / Research Network on Innovation.
    16. Normann, Håkon Endresen, 2017. "Policy networks in energy transitions: The cases of carbon capture and storage and offshore wind in Norway," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 80-93.
    17. Christopher M. Chini & James F. Canning & Kelsey L. Schreiber & Joshua M. Peschel & Ashlynn S. Stillwell, 2017. "The Green Experiment: Cities, Green Stormwater Infrastructure, and Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-21, January.
    18. George Liagouras, 2013. "Lost in Translation: Why Generalized Darwinism is a Misleading Strategy for Studying Socioeconomic Evolution," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(5), pages 1255-1286, November.

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