The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Uneven Development

  • Donald J. Harris
Reference work entry


A striking characteristic of capitalist development is the phenomenon of uneven development, defined as persistent differences in levels and rates of economic development between different sectors of the economy. However, much existing economic theory predicts that many observed features of differentiation would tend to wash out as a result of competitive market forces. This article seeks to bridge this gap. It proposes a strategy for the analysis of uneven development that advances toward a historically and empirically relevant theory. The analysis draws in part on elements of the emerging paradigm of neo-Schumpeterian evolutionary theory and on some documented empirical regularities.


Aggregation (theory) Bounded rationality Competition Concentration Creative accumulation Creative destruction Differentiation among firms Diffusion of technology Endogenous growth Evolutionary economics Firm, theory of First-mover advantages Growth centres Harrod–Domar growth model Industry evolution Innovation Invention Irreversible investment Learning Life-cycle of industry Market failure Saturation effect Schumpeterian competition Shift effect Technical change Underdevelopment Uneven development 

JEL Classifications

B25 B41 D2 D4 E12 F12 L1 L2 L6 N10 N90 O1 O3 O4 O5 R11 R12 
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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald J. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.