Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Therese Norman
Evolutionary economic geography (EEG) explains the spatial evolution of firms, industries, networks, cities and regions from elementary processes of the entry, growth, decline and exit of firms, and their locational behaviour. In an evolutionary approach to economic geography, one typically reasons from the historical processes that have led to particular spatial patterns such as uneven levels of economic development or clustering of economic activity. The current distribution of economic activity across space is thus understood as an outcome of largely contingent, yet path-dependent, historical processes. Many of the explanations in EEG are based on firm-level theorizing. That is, rather than taking the region, or any other spatial unit, as the unit of analysis, the firm is considered the locus of development and change (Maskell, 2001). Economic evolution can then be understood as stemming from innovation leading to new organizational routines and their selective transmission across organizational entities, particularly firms (Nelson and Winter, 1982).
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