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This book combines the human development approach and innovation economics in order to explore the effects that structural economic change has on human development.

While economic diversification can provide valuable new social choices and capabilities, it also tends to lead to more complex decision processes and changes to the set of capabilities required by people to self-determine their future. Within this process of structural transformation, social networks are crucial for accessing information and social support, but networks can also be a root cause of exclusion and inequality reproduction. This implies the need to encourage innovation and economic diversification beyond production expansion, focusing on the promotion of human agency and social inclusion.

This book provides such a modern perspective on development economics, emphasizing the role of social networks, economic diversity and entrepreneurship for social welfare. The author discusses how innovation, social networks, economic dynamics and human development are interlinked, and provides several practical examples of social and micro-entrepreneurship in contexts as diverse as Peruvian rural villages and Brazil’s urban areas.

The interdisciplinary perspective put forward in this book illustrates theoretical and methodological methods of exploring the complexity of development in a practical and relevant way. It also provides useful information about structural factors which need to be considered by practitioners when designing pro-poor growth policies. Furthermore, the coverage of the core concepts of innovation, networks and development economics, enriched with multiple examples, makes it a valuable resource for scholars and advanced students of modern development economics.

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