Chapter 1: Heterogeneity and Evolutionary Change – Concepts and Measurement
Uwe Cantner and Horst Hanusch 1. INTRODUCTION In this chapter we present a methodological discussion on the identiﬁcation and the tracking of structures over time. In this respect the problem under consideration is central to evolutionary economics, which puts much eﬀort into the explanation of how structures come into existence and how they develop and change over time. The structures we are looking at are based on the heterogeneity of actors – where actors are seen in a rather broadly deﬁned sense including also e.g. countries. To make things more easily accessible we constrain this heterogeneity to that which is closely related to technological and innovative abilities on the one hand, and to imitative behaviour and technological learning on the other. In theoretical work this so-called technological heterogeneity is discussed in a dynamic context focusing on its sources as well as on its consequences for innovative development and technological change. Among other things this work deals mainly with the question of how knowledge spillovers arising out of technologically diﬀerent actors do inﬂuence the direction and intensity of technological change,1 the structural and competitive development within sectors,2 and the cross-fertilisation eﬀects between sectors.3 This chapter, however, will discuss empirical issues related to heterogeneity and its change over time. The main goal we want to pursue is to coming up with a rather general empirical approach or procedure allowing one to identify and to track technological structures among actors. For this we suggest a three-step...
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