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Exploring Evolutionary Economic Geographies

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  • Jürgen Essletzbichler

    ()

  • David L. Rigby

    ()

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen Essletzbichler & David L. Rigby, 2007. "Exploring Evolutionary Economic Geographies," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0702, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Apr 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0702
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0702.pdf
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    Keywords

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

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