Path-Dependent Rule Evolution
Path-dependent rule evolution occurs whenever the further change of formal or informal institutions is, at least to some degree, determined by the institutional history of a system.
How rules emerge and change
Different types of rules influence individual behavior. There are formal institutions, such as laws or self-adopted written rules of organizations (Furubotn and Richter 2005); there are informal institutions that are not captured in written form, such as social norms (Young 2008); and there are also habits or routines (Hodgson 2010; Vanberg 2002) that individuals themselves follow. A decision to implement and to follow such rules can be made consciously, but they can also evolve without any individual making a deliberate choice to change them. In any case, the evolution of rules is often path dependent.
Path dependence exists, simply put, when past events and decisions have an influence on and limit the scope of the future evolution of a system (David 2005). A simple...
- Arthur WB (1989) Competing technologies, increasing returns and lock-in by historical events. Econ J 97:642–665Google Scholar
- David PA (1985) Clio and the economics of QWERTY. Am Econ Rev (P&P) 75:332–337Google Scholar
- David PA (2005) Path dependence in economic processes: implications for policy analysis in dynamical system contexts. In: Dopfer K (ed) The evolutionary foundations of economics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 151–194Google Scholar
- Kuran T (1995) Private truths, public lies. The social consequences of preference falsification. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- Young HP (1998) Individual strategy and social structure. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
- Young HP (2008) Social norms. In: Durlauf SN, Blume LE (eds) The New Palgrave dictionary of economics online, 2nd edn. Palgrave Macmillan, BasingstokeGoogle Scholar