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Capitalist Diversity and ChangeRecombinant Governance and Institutional Entrepreneurs$
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Colin Crouch

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199286652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199286652.001.0001

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Innovation and Path Dependence 1

Innovation and Path Dependence 1

(p.74) 4 Innovation and Path Dependence1
Capitalist Diversity and Change

Colin Crouch (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Path dependence is a major instrument of neo-institutionalist theory. This chapter discusses the position of the economically rational actor and the scope left to the actor by the assumptions of structural determinism. This will be done within the framework of the most heavily deterministic sets of arguments found in neo-institutionalism: path dependence theory. The model which is known as a Bayesian decision-maker is established in this chapter to model the relationship between actors and their environments. It is then shown how such actors who are institutional entrepreneurs seeking ways out of increasingly unsuccessful but still constraining paths might behave. Finally, the possibility of several viable alternatives is introduced, only one of which is likely to be discovered, to model how ideas of ‘one best way’ solutions become established.

Keywords:   path dependence theory, Bayesian decision-make, actors, institutional entrepreneurs, social action

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