Chapter 23 Complexity, resilience and emergence in regional economic systems
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Regional economies are complex adaptive systems (CAS). We describe CAS in a regional context, present a computational model of regional innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems (IEE) and show how the IEE model conforms to the CAS theory and analytical framework. The IEE model is built using four dimensions: agents, events, locations and knowledge domains. The model captures the dimension of time and exhibits emergence. We also explore evidence for one dimension of a region’s economic resilience: adaptation. A region’s economic resiliency, its ability to persist, depends upon its industry mix and the capacity to transform its industrial composition. Industrial transformation, whether caused by an external shock or from internal dynamics, is an empirical indicator of emergence. We quantify emergence and suggest methods to delineate recovery transition phases following an economic shock. The method calculates each industry’s contribution to recovery and transformation. Our contribution-to-performance measures show the degree to which a region’s industries have restructured over time and provides evidence of robust adaptation.

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