Complexity Thinking and Evolutionary Economic Geography

Posted: 7 Jul 2008

See all articles by Ron Martin

Ron Martin

University of Cambridge - Gonville & Caius College

Peter Sunley

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

Thus far, most of the work towards the construction of an evolutionary economic geography has drawn upon a particular version of evolutionary economics, namely the Nelson-Winter framework, which blends Darwinian concepts and metaphors (especially variety, selection, novelty and inheritance) and elements of a behavioural theory of the firm. Much less attention has been directed to an alternative conception based on complexity theory, yet in recent years complexity theory has increasingly been concerned with the general attributes of evolutionary natural and social systems. In this article we explore the idea of the economic landscape as a complex adaptive system. We identify several key notions of what is being called the new ‘complexity economics’, and examine whether and in what ways these can be used to help inform an evolutionary perspective for understanding the uneven development and adaptive transformation of the economic landscape.

Keywords: complexity theory, evolution, economic landscape, networks, emergence, regional adaptation, B520, O180, R110, R120

Suggested Citation

Martin, Ron and Sunley, Peter, Complexity Thinking and Evolutionary Economic Geography (September 2007). Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 7, No. 5, pp. 573-601, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1155700 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbm019

Ron Martin (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Gonville & Caius College ( email )

Trinity Street
Cambridge CB2 1TA
United Kingdom

Peter Sunley

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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