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Hicks and Richardson on industrial change:analysis and policy


  • Mario Amendola

    (Università di Roma La Sapienza)

  • Sergio Bruno
  • Jean-Luc Gaffard

    (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)


This paper is aimed at showing the complementarity between Richardson's and Hicks' contributions as regards the sketching out of a proper analytical framework for dynamic analysis. These contributions deal with two essential analytical ingredients that the out-of-equilibrium analysis of processes of economic change calls for: investment, in the sense of construction of productive capacity, and the relations which must be established for construction looked at as a process over time. In particular, light is thrown on the specific co-ordination problem that characterizes a process of economic change; a problem that arises at the junction of two strictly related lags: the phase of construction of productive capacity - which entails sunk costs - and the delay of transmission of information - which implies uncertainty. The analytical framework thus sketched out helps to understand why the economic agents' interaction does not bring about chaotic results, as long as the decision-makers are characterized by roughly stable patterns of behaviour and/or as long as a fair amount of co-ordination takes place, through various forms of cognitive exchange. It helps to show that the adoption of routines, the compliance to rules and customs, communicative action, the sharing of expectations about the behaviour of the system, the search for explicit agreements, are all mechanisms (or strategies) producing some degree of co-ordination, which confer the required order and stability to the environment.
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Suggested Citation

  • Mario Amendola & Sergio Bruno & Jean-Luc Gaffard, 2008. "Hicks and Richardson on industrial change:analysis and policy," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-28, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0828

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amendola, M & Gaffard, J L, 1992. "Intertemporal Complementarity and Money in an Economy out of Equilibrium," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 131-145, August.
    2. Hicks, John, 2017. "A Market Theory of Money," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198796237.
    3. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change," Introductory Chapters,in: Understanding the Process of Economic Change Princeton University Press.
    4. Amendola1, M. & Froeschle, C. & Gaffard, J. L., 1993. "Sustaining structural change: Malthus's heritage," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 65-79, June.
    5. Amendola, Mario & Gaffard, Jean-Luc, 1998. "Out of Equilibrium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293804, June.
    6. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-896, September.
    7. Hicks, J R, 1970. "A Neo-Austrian Growth Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(318), pages 257-281, June.
    8. John C. H. Fei, 1965. "Per Capita Consumption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 52-72.
    9. Amendola, Mario & Bruno, Sergio, 1990. "The behaviour of the innovative firm: Relations to the environment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 419-433, October.
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