The social and industrial dynamics of retailing an evolutionary reconstruction

B. Nooteboom

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This paper reconstructs the long-term development of retailing, including industrial, economic and social antecedents and consequences. Among other things, it includes innovation in the form of the emergence and diffusion of successive novel types of shop (including self-service), relations between large and small firms in innovation and diffusion, change of demand conditions, institutional change concerning the opening time of shops, increase of scale and concentration, and social effects. For the analysis of the process and costs of retailing, use is made of queuing theory rather than customary production functions. The reconstruction is conducted in evolutionary terms of selection, variety generation and transmission. Scripts with nodes for component activities are used in analogy to chromosomes composed of genes. The paper concludes with a discussion of the usefulness of evolutionary economics, and offers suggestions for its development.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUnknown Publisher
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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NameCentER Discussion Paper


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