PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): 229-238.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.02.006

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Progress of research on technological relatedness in the perspective of evolutionary economic geography

Qi GUO1(), Canfei HE2,3   

  1. 1. College of Economic and Social Development, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
    2. Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    3. Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2017-06-13 Revised:2017-12-02 Online:2018-02-28 Published:2018-02-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41701124;National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, No.41425001;Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41731208


Technological relatedness as a key concept at present in evolutionary economic geography (EEG) is of great significance for the development of EEG and studies on economic growth path. This article explores the definition and measurement of technological relatedness and its micro-mechanism, and reviews the literature on how technological relatedness influences product evolution on different scales, including country, regional, and firm level product evolution. Even though the mechanisms differ slightly by scale, most studies confirm the existence of path dependence. In other words, product evolution path is dependent of technological relatedness. However, several studies find that some countries, regions, and firms do not follow their existing technological relatedness but break the path. They investigate the source of path breaking, finding that path breaking derives from some internal or external forces. China's special development path is not only a supplement for Western evolutionary economic geography theories but also an important opportunity for the development of the emerging Chinese evolutionary economic geography.

Key words: evolutionary economic geography, technological relatedness, product evolution, path dependence, path breaking