Strategic path dependency
Nature: Economic systems, even if inefficient, and social systems are hard to change despite changing circumstaznces because they follow paths detrermined by earlier institutional choices. The initial choice of a particular technology, for example, "locks" an economy into a sequence of adaptive investments that block the later adoption of more efficient technologies.
Claim: As a result of path dependency, anyone who imagines that the global capitalist market system is somehow going to follow, through its own initiative, a qualitatively different path than that already traced, is seriously deluded and misguied.
Counter Claim: The effects of a path continue to undermine its supportive base (both within society and the environment). They will as a result catastrophically self-correct unless a deliberate choice is made to modify the nature of economic growth towards sustainable development.
Problem Type: J: Problems Under Consideration
Date of last update 11.03.1999 – 00:00 CET