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Path dependence research in regional economic development: Cacophony or knowledge accumulation?

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  • Martin Henning
  • Erik Stam
  • Rik Wenting

Abstract

The concept of path dependence has gained momentum in the social sciences, particularly in economic geography. In this paper, we explore the empirical literature on path dependence and path creation in regional economic development. We offer a critical reflection on these studies and outline commonalities and problems in research designs and empirical testing. Our review suggests that the popularity of the concept of path dependence in regional studies has led to a cacophony of studies rather than a purposeful accumulation of knowledge around the concept. To remedy this situation, we identify gaps and suggest guidelines for future empirical research on the role of path creation and path dependence in uneven regional development.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Henning & Erik Stam & Rik Wenting, 2012. "Path dependence research in regional economic development: Cacophony or knowledge accumulation?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1219, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1219
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    Keywords

    path dependence; path creation; regional development; economic geography;
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