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Novelty and the Bounds of Unknowledge in Economics

  • Ulrich Witt

    ()

The emergence of novelty is a driving agent for economic change. New technologies, new products and services, new institutional arrangements, to mention a few examples, are the backbone of development and growth. Important though it is, the emergence of novelty is not well understood. What seems to be clear, however, is that it implies “bounds of unknowledge” (Shackle) that impose epistemological and methodological constraints on economic theorizing. In this paper, the problems will be examined, possibilities for positively theorizing about novelty will be explored, and the methodological consequences for causal explanations and the modeling of economics dynamics will be discussed.

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Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2007-07.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2007-07
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  1. Metcalfe, J S, 1994. "Competition, Fisher's Principle and Increasing Returns in the Selection Process," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 327-46, November.
  2. 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.
  3. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  4. Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  5. Day, Richard H, 1982. "Irregular Growth Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 406-14, June.
  6. Witt, Ulrich, 1997. ""Lock-in" vs. "critical masses" -- Industrial change under network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 753-773, October.
  7. Ulrich Witt, 2002. "Generic Features of Evolution and Its Continuity -- a Transdisciplinary Perspective," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2002-10, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
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