Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy
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Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy

Edited by Ruth Towse and Christian Handke

Digital technologies have transformed the way many creative works are generated, disseminated and used. They have made cultural products more accessible, challenged established business models and the copyright system, and blurred the boundary between producers and consumers. This unique resource presents an up-to-date overview of academic research on the impact of digitization in the creative sector of the economy.
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Chapter 3: Evolutionary perspectives

Jason Potts


The standard approach to industrial economics starts with the industryís basic conditions, then runs through the structureñconductñperformance paradigm of industrial organization, and finally considers government regulation and policy. Most creative industries segments have been studied in this way, for example in Albarran (2002) and Caves (2000). These approaches use standard economic analysis to explain the particular properties and characteristics of a specific industrial sector. The overview presented here is different again. It focuses on the creative industries and examines their economic effect, specifically their contribution to economic evolution. This is an evolutionary systems approach to industrial analysis, where we seek to understand how a sector fits into a broader system of production, consumption, technology, trade and institutions. The evolutionary approach focuses on innovation, economic growth and endogenous transformation. So, rather than using economics to explain static or industrial-organization features of the creative industries, we are using an open systems view of the creative industries to explain dynamic ëSchumpeterianí features of the broader economy. The creative industries are drivers of economic transformation through their role in the origination of new ideas, in consumer adoption, and in facilitating the institutional embedding of new ideas into the economic order. This is not a novel idea, as economists have long understood that particular activities are drivers of economic growth and development, for example research and development, and also that particular sectors are instrumental to this process, for example high-technology sectors.

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