Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
This paper examines the premise that the gap between economic development strategies and their poor implementation cannot simply be removed by creating better intended strategies, tools or institutions. The "residual" of unexplained divergence between goal and outcome, in this sense, can be ascribed in part to the interplay, or co-evolution, between policies (intention) and self-organizing (emergent) development. Therefore, the paper asserts in promotion of economic development the question is more about directing emergence rather than controlling it, and hence policy is one part of a complex system, with an important role to play. The authors see their exercise as complementary to those who have studied the co-evolution theory, both for development, for innovation, and for policy. They aim to tackle this question by merging notions of emergence, intentionality of policy-making, and evolutionary understanding of change, and hence we continue the efforts to provide bridges between the predominantly descriptive concerns of evolutionary theory and the prescriptive analysis of strategies at various levels.
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