nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2006‒01‒01
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
US Naval Academy, USA

  1. The spatial evolution of the British automobile industry By Ron A. Boschma; Rik Wenting
  2. Industrial restructuring and early industry pathways in the Asian 1st generation NICs: The Singapore garment industry By Leo van grunsven; Floor Smakman
  3. B2c e-commerce adoption in inner cities: An evolutionary perspective By Ron A. Boschma; Jesse W.J. Weltevreden
  4. Evolutionary urban transportation planning? An exploration By Luca Bertolini
  5. Bounded Rationality, Cognitive Maps, and Trial and Error Learning By Richard R. Nelson
  6. Economic policy from an evolutionary perspective: the case of Finland By Ron A. Boschma; Markku Sotarauta

  1. By: Ron A. Boschma; Rik Wenting
    Abstract: This paper aims to describe and explain the spatial evolution of the automobile sector in Great Britain from an evolutionary perspective. This analysis is based on a unique database of all entries and exits in this sector during the period 1895-1968, collected by the authors. Cox regressions show that spinoff dynamics, localization economies and time of entry have had a significant effect on the survival rate of automobile firms during the period 1895-1968.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, automobile industry, entry, exit
    Date: 2004–08
  2. By: Leo van grunsven; Floor Smakman
    Abstract: This article aims to contribute to an understanding of the industrial dynamics/evolution of mature export production complexes in the first generation Asian NICs, employing an evolutionary economic perspective. Over the past decade and longer the first generation Asian NICs, Singapore included, have been confronted with imperatives necessitating deep restructuring. We observe that industrial decline, associated with failed restructuring caused by lock-in, does not fit these countries, its industrial regions and early industries. Yet research has hardly begun to look at adjustment and address deeper evolution from tenets in the framework of evolutionary economics although such an approach is made not less but rather more relevant by continued resilience. We analyse the pathway(s) of one early industry, i.c. the apparel industry, in Singapore, through the 1980s and 1990s. The withering away in the Singapore context of an industry such as apparel is not inevitable. From a juxtaposition of the line of thinking in evolutionary economics emphasizing hindrance and decline due to path dependency and lock-ins with an alternative line emphasizing the possibility to adjust through renewal and the limited operation of lock-ins, we argue why the latter rather than the former has been the case.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, industrial restruction, Asia, NICs
    Date: 2005–03
  3. By: Ron A. Boschma; Jesse W.J. Weltevreden
    Abstract: Internet makes it possible for consumers to shop without visiting a physical store. As online shopping is becoming more popular, this could have significant impact on in-store shopping. The extent to which consumers, producers and retailers make use of the Internet as a complementary channel or as a substitute for in-store shopping is fundamental for the way traditional retailing will be affected. It is only recently that geographers are becoming interested in the spatial consequences of this new form of commerce. From a traditional geographical perspective, one could expect that business-to-consumer (b2c) e-commerce could make physical shopping redundant, leading to a ‘death of distance’. There are, however, several factors that may limit this new form of commerce, such as logistical constraints (e.g., personal delivery of goods may be quite expensive), habits of people, and the need for social contact. The main goal of the paper is to draw some expectations concerning the relationship between b2c e-commerce and inner city retailing. Using new insights based on evolutionary economics, hypotheses will be developed concerning the impact of b2c e-commerce on consumers’ shopping behaviour, retailers’ store strategy, and the inner city retailing environment as a whole. We claim that habits may act as a constraint to change consumers’ shopping behaviour. In addition, routines can explain why retailers may be rather reluctant in exploiting this new channel of commerce, and why they are most likely to adopt rather conservative e-commerce strategies. We also explain how and why inner cities, as important retailing and consumption places, may affect the way actors deal with this new form of commerce. One may expect that especially in these localities, both stimulating and limiting factors of b2c e-commerce adoption are predominant, depending on the quality or the attractiveness of the inner cities, among other things.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, e-commerce, urban economics
    Date: 2005–02
  4. By: Luca Bertolini
    Abstract: For urban transportation planners these are challenging times. Mounting practical concerns are mirrored by more fundamental critiques. The latter come together in the observation that conventional approaches do not adequately account for the irreducible uncertainty of future developments. The central aim of this paper is to explore if and how an evolutionary approach can help overcome this limit. Two core-hypotheses are formulated. The first is that the urban transportation system behaves in an evolutionary fashion. The second hypothesis is that because of this, urban transportation planning needs also to focus on enhancing the resilience and adaptability of the system. Changes in transport and land use development patterns and policies and in the broader context in the post-war period in the Amsterdam region are analysed in order to illustrate the two core-hypotheses. In the conclusions more general implications are drawn.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, urban economics, transportation planning
    Date: 2005–09
  5. By: Richard R. Nelson
    Abstract: The term "bounded rationality" is meant to connote the reasoning capabilities of an actor who, on the one hand, has a goal to achieve and an at least partially formed theory as to how to achieve it, and on the other hand, that the theory is somewhat crude, likely will be revised in the course of the effort, and that success is far from assured. This article presents a theory of how trial and error learning interacts with theory modification in the course of problem solving under bounded rationality. The empirical focus is on efforts to advance a technology, especially medical practice, but the analysis is quite general. A central question explored is what makes progress in a field hard or easy.
    Keywords: Bounded Rationality, Search, Progress
    Date: 2005–12–21
  6. By: Ron A. Boschma; Markku Sotarauta
    Abstract: In the last decade, the Finnish economy has shown an unprecedented recovery, after being hit by a deep crisis in the early 1990s. The paper views and interprets this successful transformation process based on ICT from an evolutionary perspective. Although the rapid pace of the restructuring of the Finnish economy suggests a break with the past, this remarkable recovery was firmly rooted in its economic history. In addition, Finnish public policy played its role in turning Finland into a knowledge economy. Although a master plan for the Finnish economy was lacking, many policies worked out quite well together over an extended period. Building on education, research and technology policy initiatives taken in the 1970s and 1980s, the deep economic crisis in the early 1990s paved the way for new policy directions, with a focus on network-facilitating innovation policies.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, economic geography, innovation policy, Finnish economy, Finnish policy, ICT cluster
    Date: 2005–08

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