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Economics, Evolution and the State

Economics, Evolution and the State

The Governance of Complexity

Edited by Kurt Dopfer

This book focuses on the emerging field of evolutionary economic policy, highlighting the interface between the state, markets, and the evolutionary complexity of modern economies. The contributors explore the possibilities and limitations of governance, and provide a unique platform for the advancement of modern evolutionary economic theory.

Chapter 1: Heterogeneity and Evolutionary Change – Concepts and Measurement

Uwe Cantner and Horst Hanusch

Subjects: economics and finance, evolutionary economics


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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