Beyond Replicator Dynamics: Innovation-Selection Dynamics and Optimal Diversity

Safarzynska, Karolina and van den Bergh, Jeroen (2011) Beyond Replicator Dynamics: Innovation-Selection Dynamics and Optimal Diversity. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 78 (3). pp. 229-245. ISSN 0090-5720


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We propose a new evolutionary approach to model technological change based on an extension of replicator dynamics with recombination and mutation. It gives rise to interactive innovation-selection dynamics. The model allows studying the combined effects of selection and variety generation on evolutionary-economic change. The developed framework describes a population of boundedly rational entrepreneurs who decide each period on the allocation of investments in different production technologies. They tend to invest in belowaverage cost technologies, just as under replicator dynamics. In addition, they spend a constant fraction of investments, captured by mutation and recombination rates, on alternative technologies and research on recombinant innovation. As opposed to most previous studies, mutation and recombination are here conceptual variables with a concrete behavioral interpretation, namely describing the decision rules (heuristics) of investors. We compare the dynamics of shares of investments in various technologies for three cases: with constant costs of capital, with costs decreasing steadily and exogenously over time, and with costs depending on the level of cumulative investments. For each model version, we examine under which conditions the coexistence of technological options is feasible and optimal in terms of minimising the average cost of investments.(authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: To see the final version of this paper please visit the publisher's website. Access to the published version requires a subscription.
Classification Codes: JEL B52, C61, C62, O32
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Multi-Level Governance and Development
Version of the Document: Accepted for Publication
Variance from Published Version: Minor
Depositing User: Dissertation Administrator
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2011 10:23
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2015 12:36
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