Path Dependency

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Main Notion

Path dependence gains its explanatory power by specifying a particular type of causal variable (endogenous) and a particular type of causal mechanism (increasing returns) to explain change. Endogeneity is not itself a causal variable but an attribute that describes a particular category or type of cause. Increasing returns, on the other hand, refers not to a type of variable but to a type of causal mechanism (Rixen and Viola 2015)



Rixen, Thomas, and Lora Anne Viola. 2015. “Putting Path Dependence in Its Place: Toward a Taxonomy of Institutional Change.” Journal of Theoretical Politics 27 (2):301–23.

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