Schumpeter, Winter, and the Sources of Novelty
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
This article examines what Joseph Schumpeter said on the emergence of novelty in economic institutions, what Sidney Winter did to build on and deviate from that foundation, and what puzzles remain. Winter built a framework for answers to a puzzle that Schumpeter could not solve-how novelty emerges in a system based on routines. He identified two major sources of novelty: the combinatorics of routines and the unreliability of routine imitation. As possible inspirations for further progress in evolutionary thought, the article points to ideas from chemistry, linguistics, and the diffusion of fashion for elaborations of these key Winterian insights.
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