‘Path dependence exists when the outcome of a process depends on its past history, on a sequence of decisions made by agents and resulting outcomes, and not only on contemporary conditions’ (Baláž and Williams (2007) Int. Mig. 45, 2). ‘The future development of an economic system is affected by the path it has traced out in the past’ (G. Hodgson1996). This term seems, to some extent, to resemble hysteresis, or contingencies. See also Martin and Sunley (2006) J. Econ. Geog. 6. ‘The strength of the path dependence model lies in the insistence of its practitioners on the importance of the specific sequence of micro-level historical events’ (Ruttan (1997) Econ. J. 107, 444). Greener (2002) Manage. Decisions 40, 6 explains path dependence as a lock-in (the entry of a system into a trap from which it can't escape without the involvement of an outside force/shock) by historical events. See also Peck (2007) PHG 31, 6.
Subjects: Social sciences