Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Path dependence: Path dependence refers to a phenomenon where the current state or outcome of a system is influenced by its historical trajectory, wherein earlier decisions or events shape and limit future possibilities. It implies that choices made in the past constrain or influence present and future developments within a system or process. See also History, Decisions, Decision-making processes, Decision theory, Events, Systems.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Daron Acemoglu on Path Dependence - Dictionary of Arguments

Acemoglu I 114
Path dependence/colonies/Acemoglu/Robinson: Western Europe, experiencing many of the same historical processes, had institutions similar to England at the time of the Industrial Revolution. There were small but consequential differences between England and the rest, which is why the Industrial Revolution happened in England and not France. >Critical junctures/Acemoglu
, >Institutional drift/Acemoglu.
E.g., The French Revolution was another critical juncture that led the institutions of Western Europe to converge with those of England, while Eastern Europe diverged further. The rest of the world followed different institutional trajectories.
Colonies/poverty/prosperity: European colonization set the stage for institutional divergence in the Americas, where in contrast to the inclusive institutions developed in the United States and Canada extractive ones emerged in Latin America, which explains the patterns of inequality we see in the Americas. The extractive political and economic institutions of the Spanish conquistadors in Latin America have endured, condemning much of the region to poverty.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Acemoglu II
James A. Acemoglu
James A. Robinson
Economic origins of dictatorship and democracy Cambridge 2006

Acemoglu I
James A. Acemoglu
James A. Robinson
Why nations fail. The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty New York 2012

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