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Path Dependence

Опубликовано на портале: 05-02-2003
Encyclopedia of Law and Economics. 1999. 
What role does the past play in current economic conditions? Economic models usually determine equilibrium ending points without concern for intermediate disequilibrium conditions or the prior history of the system. That the past does play some role is obvious, but the nature of its impact requires careful delineation. Some path dependence theorists have argued that past decisions might have locked-in certain inferior outcomes. In making sense of this claim particular attention needs to be paid to the meaning of inferior. Upon investigation, such claims have been found to be without empirical support (in private markets) and based on fairly narrow theoretical assumptions. In nonmarket contexts less is known.

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