Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2014/1: Institutional Change and Economic Evolution in Regions

Markus Grillitsch ()
Additional contact information
Markus Grillitsch: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The overall objective of this paper is to contribute conceptually to the questions why and how regions transform and it joins the debate on economic evolution and institutional change. The paper addresses the challenge of how to conceptualise the interdependencies of institutions of different types and spatial scales. It aims at developing a conceptual framework that i) appreciates the variety of institutional forms and the multi-scalar nature of institutional landscapes, ii) is tangible enough for operationalization in the context of empirical research, and iii) contributes to our understanding about institutional change and economic evolution in regions. The paper offers a review on how institutions have been conceptualised in the context of evolutionary economic geography, a proposal for understanding regional institutional frameworks and institutional change through a novel way of conceptualising institutional layering, a clear distinction between concepts such as agency, networks, social structures and institutional layers, and a discussion about how this can improve our understanding about regional transformation.

Keywords: Evolutionary economic geography; institutional theory; regional change; institutional layering

JEL-codes: B52; R11

26 pages, March 25, 2014

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