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Applied Evolutionary Economics and Complex Systems

Edited by John Foster, Professor of Economics and Head, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia and Werner Hölzl, Research Group Growth and Employment in Europe, Department of Economics, WU Wien, University of Economics and Business, Austria
This book takes up the challenge of developing an empirically based foundation for evolutionary economics built upon complex system theory.

The authors argue that modern evolutionary economics is at a crossroads. At a theoretical level, modern evolutionary economics is moving away from the traditional focus of the operation of selection mechanisms and towards concepts of ‘complex adaptive systems’ and self-organisation. On an applied level, new and innovative methods of empirical research are being developed and considered. The contributors take up this challenge and examine aspects of complexity and evolution in applied contexts.
Extent: 304 pp
Hardback Price: £103.00 Web: £92.70
Publication Date: 2004
ISBN: 978 1 84376 369 7
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Evolutionary Economics
This book takes up the challenge of developing an empirically based foundation for evolutionary economics built upon complex system theory.

The authors argue that modern evolutionary economics is at a crossroads. At a theoretical level, modern evolutionary economics is moving away from the traditional focus of the operation of selection mechanisms and towards concepts of ‘complex adaptive systems’ and self-organisation. On an applied level, new and innovative methods of empirical research are being developed and considered. The contributors take up this challenge and examine aspects of complexity and evolution in applied contexts. The topics covered in this book include innovation and technology in industry, industry life cycles, time series econometrics and evolutionary economics, complexity and variety, entrepreneurship and evolutionary theory and the relationship between ecological and evolutionary economics.

Applied Evolutionary Economics and Complex Systems will appeal to evolutionary and industrial economists and scholars of innovation studies, as well as management scientists and policymakers involved with issues of innovation.
‘Applied Evolutionary Economics and Complex Systems offers a rich set of contributions exploring the connections between evolutionary economics, complex system theory, and empirical research. It focusses on how the economy viewed as a system differs in important ways from natural contexts. Knowledge and information, the population approach, and the interdependence between selection and development through the creation and destruction of variety are the three distinguishing and interrelated traits of evolutionary economics. Technological and organizational change is emphasized, together with the implications of complexity and the open character of economic systems on the behavioural characteristics of economic agents and on the ability of economists to model the behaviour of complex systems. The book addresses the challenging task of explaining and understanding which rules govern the interactions between agents and which processes and interactions change the rules of the economic game over time thus enabling the system to evolve. This book helps clarify difficult issues although it is necessarily selective, exploratory and illustrative. It is an important contribution to building a repertoire of applied case studies of evolutionary economics and complex systems.’
– Robert Delorme, University of Paris/CEPREMAP, France

‘This book reflects the new level of maturity of evolutionary and institutional economics. The field of evolutionary economics has moved beyond merely describing the economy as an evolving complex system and is now developing empirically testable models of economic evolution. This book is a major contribution to the revolution now taking place in economic theory as traditional welfare economics is being replaced by more realistic models of human behavior and economic organisation.’
– John Gowdy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US

‘Statistical analogies and hypotheses testing now attract increasing attention in the evolutionary approach to economics. As much as evolutionary theorizing calls for new concepts to be able to go beyond static equilibrium analysis, as much does empirical work in evolutionary economics require an extension of the tool box of linear time series analysis and statistics. Foster and Hölzl have brought together an excellent collection of papers highlighting both the broad range of problems facing such an extension and the possible solutions. The methodological studies and the practical applications in this volume represent a guide post for future empirical work in evolutionary economics.’
– Ulrich Witt, Max Planck Institute, Jena, Germany
Contributors: F. Bevilacqua, B. Ebersberger, J. Foster, K. Frenken, T. Grebel, H. Hanusch, W. Hölzl, J. Krafft, A. Nuvolari, M. Peneder, A. Pyka, A. Reinstaller, D. Tappi, J.C.J.M. van den Bergh, A. van Zon
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction and Overview 2. Econometrics and Evolutionary Economics 3. Random Walks and Non-linear Paths in Macroeconomics Time Series: Some Evidence and Implications 4. The Use of Genetic Programming in Evolutionary Economics 5. Entropy Statistics as a Framework to Analyse Technological Evolution 6. Complementarity Constraints and Induced Innovation: Some Evidence from the First IT Regime 7. An Evolutionary Approach to the Theory of Entrepreneurship 8. Shakeout in Industrial Dynamics: New Developments, New Puzzles 9. High Growth with ‘Old’ Industries? The Austrian Paradox Revisited 10. Changing Structure – Keeping Location: From Musical Instruments to Electronics in the Accordion District of Ancona 11. Evolutionary Thinking in Environmental Economics: Retrospect and Prospect Index