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Complexity Thinking and Evolutionary Economic Geography

  • Ron Martin

    ()

  • Peter Sunley

    ()

Thus far, most of the work towards the construction of an evolutionary economic geography has drawn upon a particular version of evolutionary economics, namely the Nelson-Winter framework, which blends Darwinian concepts and metaphors (especially variety, selection, novelty and inheritance) and elements of a behavioural theory of the firm. Much less attention has been directed to an alternative conception based on complexity theory, yet in recent years complexity theory has increasingly been concerned with the general attributes of evolutionary natural and social systems. In this paper we explore the idea of the economic landscape as a complex adaptive system. We identify several key notions of what is being called the new ‘complexity economics’, and examine whether and in what ways these can be used to help inform an evolutionary perspective for understanding the uneven development and adaptive transformation of the economic landscape.

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File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0703.pdf
File Function: Version April 2007
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Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 0703.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision: Apr 2007
Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0703
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Web page: http://econ.geo.uu.nl

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  1. Maskell, Peter, 2001. "Towards a Knowledge-Based Theory of the Geographical Cluster," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 921-43, December.
  2. Fulvio Castellacci, 2006. "A critical realist interpretation of evolutionary growth theorising," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(6), pages 861-880, November.
  3. Kurt Dopfer & John Foster & Jason Potts, 2004. "Micro-meso-macro," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 263-279, 07.
  4. Jan G. Lambooy & Ron Boschma, 1998. "Evolutionary economics and regional policy," ERSA conference papers ersa98p489, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Kurt Dopfer & Jason Potts, 2004. "Evolutionary realism: a new ontology for economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 195-212.
  6. Elizabeth Garnsey, 1998. "The Genesis of the High Technology Milieu: A Study in Complexity," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 361-377, 09.
  7. Schnabl, Hermann, et al, 1999. "A New Approach to Identifying Structural Development in Economic Systems: The Case of the Queensland Economy," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 64-78, March.
  8. Sheri M. Markose, 2005. "Computability and Evolutionary Complexity: Markets as Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS)," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(504), pages F159-F192, 06.
  9. Krugman, Paul, 1994. "Complex Landscapes in Economic Geography," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 412-16, May.
  10. Ron A. Boschma & Jan G. Lambooy, 1999. "Evolutionary economics and economic geography," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 411-429.
  11. Ron A. Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2005. "Why is economic geography not an evolutionary science? Towards an evolutionary economic geography," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0501, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Feb 2005.
  12. John Foster, 2005. "From simplistic to complex systems in economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 873-892, November.
  13. Koen Frenken & Ron A. Boschma, 2007. "A theoretical framework for evolutionary economic geography: industrial dynamics and urban growth as a branching process," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 635-649, September.
  14. Metcalfe, John S. & Foster, John & Ramlogan, Ronnie, 2003. "Adaptive Economic Growth," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30637, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
  15. Jürgen Essletzbichler & David L. Rigby, 2007. "Exploring evolutionary economic geographies," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 549-571, September.
  16. Steven Pinch & Nick Henry & Mark Jenkins & Stephen Tallman, 2003. "From 'industrial districts' to 'knowledge clusters': a model of knowledge dissemination and competitive advantage in industrial agglomerations," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 373-388, October.
  17. Jason Potts, 2001. "Knowledge and markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 413-431.
  18. David F. Batten, 2001. "Complex landscapes of spatial interaction," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 81-111.
  19. Jürgen Essletzbichler & David L. Rigby, 2007. "Exploring Evolutionary Economic Geographies," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0702, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Apr 2007.
  20. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2006. "Path dependence and regional economic evolution," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 395-437, August.
  21. John Foster & Stan Metcalfe, 2009. "Evolution and economic complexity: an overview," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(7), pages 607-610.
  22. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
  23. Brian J. Loasby, 2001. "Industrial Dynamics Why Connections Matter," DRUID Working Papers 01-09, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  24. John Foster, 2000. "Competitive selection, self-organisation and Joseph A. Schumpeter," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 311-328.
  25. Foster, John, 1997. "The analytical foundations of evolutionary economics: From biological analogy to economic self-organization," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 427-451, October.
  26. Foster, John, 1993. "Economics and the Self-Organisation Approach: Alfred Marshall Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 975-91, July.
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