Path dependence in context of evolutionary theory of economic change

TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 14 (no. 1),

The dominance of Path Dependency theory in Russian social science and publicist writings results in the underestimation of the innovative role of individual creativity and has a hampering effect on the development of society. The above-named theory is based on the QWERTY-effect of wrong technological choice – the idea which was extended by its creator Paul David to apply to the evolution of institutions. In Russia such an approach has been adopted by authors who consider the «Russian Path» as an indication of the unbridgeable civilizational schism between East and West and define the former as the domination of the state coupled with deprivation of individuals’ rights. The «Path» theory is used by some politicians in order to provide a scientific rationale for the conservative ideology under which the notion of the «Russian Path» includes defensive mindset, territorial sacredness, religion as spiritualization of the state, the state as protector of the faith, a sense of a distinct way and a unique mission in the world, and cautious attitude towards West. The author proposes the concept of the «innovator effect» which reflects the fundamental role that creative personality has come to play in innovationdriven development of institutions in the post-industrial society. What is crucial here is the individual’s moral responsibility for the destiny of the society. Thus, the «innovator effect» concept can help re-establish the balance between inertial and innovative factors of development; show the role of free human beings as a source of progress and decrease the level of civic apathy prevalent in the society.

Keywords: Path Dependence; QWERTY; innovation; post-industrial society; institutes; Russia; economic determinism

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606