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Edited by Cristiano Antonelli
17 The complex dynamics of economic development Verónica Robert and Gabriel Yoguel1 1. INTRODUCTION In recent decades, the complexity approach has been adopted to explain some characteristics of evolutionary micro-dynamics by different heterodox authors (Silverberg et al., 1988; Dosi, 1991; Dosi and Kaniovski, 1994; Dosi and Nelson, 1994; Foster, 1993, 2005; Witt, 1997; Antonelli, 2007). According to them, taking complex systems as a framework allows an understanding of the morphology and dynamics of innovation systems characterized by (i) micro-heterogeneity in terms of competencies and linkages, (ii) temporal irreversibility, as a result of a dynamic driven by a non-ergodic path dependence, (iii) disequilibrium, non-linear interactions and feedbacks and (iv) the presence of institutional rules. Nevertheless, some authors of the old development school and post-Keynesian economics have already dealt with some of these features, especially those related to macrocomplexity. Kaldor (1972), Myrdal (1957), Prebisch (1959) and Hirschman (1958), among others, had already considered the effects of the economic structure on development, temporal and structural irreversibility, and the existence of divergent dynamics between countries and regions, reinforced by feedback effects between product growth and productivity (Kaldor–Verdoorn law), demonstrating that disequilibrium and nonlinear dynamics have a long tradition in the heterodox streams of economic thought. New emerging literature on development (Ocampo, 2005; Amsden, 2004; Reinert 2007; Cimoli and Porcile, 2009, among others) showed the necessity for the integration of the microeconomic-complexity described by neo-Schumpeterian and evolutionary theories of innovation and the macro-complexity reflected in Latin American structuralism. For example, some of these...
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