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Forms of Emergence and the Evolution of Economic Landscapes

  • Ron Martin


  • Peter Sunley


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    Over the past two decades, the notion of ÔemergenceÕ has attracted increasing attention and controversy across the social sciences, as par of a growing interest in the applicability of complexity theory to socio-economic-political systems. Within this context, as economic geographers, our concern in this paper is with the usefulness of the idea of emergence for studying the economic landscape and its evolution. We examine three ÔordersÕ of emergence, and focus attention especially on the third type, Ôdevelopmental or evolutionaryÕ emergence. Despite its limitations, the notion of third order emergence is a potentially valuable organizing concept in economic geography. It provides a framework for exploring how it is that the spatial forms of the economy - clusters, regions, firm networks and so on Ð are recursively related to economic action.

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    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 1116.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2011
    Date of revision: Aug 2011
    Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1116
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    1. 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.
    2. Harry Garretsen & Ron Martin, 2010. "Rethinking (New) Economic Geography Models: Taking Geography and History More Seriously," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 127-160.
    3. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2007. "Complexity Thinking and Evolutionary Economic Geography," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0703, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Apr 2007.
    4. 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.
    5. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2006. "Localized Learning Revisited," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 1-18.
    6. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
    7. Ron Martin, 2010. "Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography-Rethinking Regional Path Dependence: Beyond Lock-in to Evolution," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 86(1), pages 1-27, 01.
    8. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2002. "Deconstructing Clusters: Chaotic Concept or Policy Panacea," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp244, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    9. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
    10. Ron Boschma & Simona Iammarino, 2009. "Related Variety, Trade Linkages, and Regional Growth in Italy," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(3), pages 289-311, 07.
    11. Sugden, Robert, 1989. "Spontaneous Order," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 85-97, Fall.
    12. Ron Boschma & Ron Martin, 2007. "Editorial: Constructing an evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 537-548, September.
    13. Ron Boschma & Ron Martin (ed.), 2010. "The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography," Books, Edward Elgar, number 12864, April.
    14. 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.
    15. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-85, March.
    16. Porter, David C. & Thatcher, John G., 1998. "Fragmentation, competition, and limit orders: New evidence from interday spreads," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 111-128.
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