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Modeling, Measuring, and Distinguishing Path Dependence, Outcome Dependence, and Outcome Independence

  • John E. Jackson (a1) and Ken Kollman (a1)

Abstract

Path dependence is commonly used to describe processes where “history matters,” which encompasses many different kinds of temporal dynamics. This essay distinguishes path-, or equilibrium-, dependent processes where early conditions continue to matter, from outcome-dependent processes where recent history matters and from outcome-independent processes where history does not matter. Others have argued for a precise and restrictive definition of path dependence. We build on this and distinguish among different types of outcome-dependent processes when these conditions for path dependence are not fully satisfied.

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e-mail: jjacksn@umich.edu (corresponding author)

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Edited by R. Michael Alvarez, John R. Freeman, and John E. Jackson

Author's note: Revision of a paper prepared for a Conference on Path Dependence, sponsored by the Society for Political Methodology and the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, June 4 and 5, 2010. We are grateful to Jude Hayes and John Freeman in particular and the conference participants in general for their very helpful comments and suggestions. All errors are, of course, our own.

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Modeling, Measuring, and Distinguishing Path Dependence, Outcome Dependence, and Outcome Independence

  • John E. Jackson (a1) and Ken Kollman (a1)

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