Articles

Peter A. Corning. The Basic Problem is Still Survival, And an Evolutionary Ethics is Indispensable

You could legitimately call it a “megathreat”. In a scholarly but readable book that should have set alarm bells ringing – literally around the world – the distinguished geoscientist, Richard B. Alley, warned us recently that the accumulating scientific evidence points to the likelihood, in the not too distant future, of an ecological disaster. He was not talking about global warming but something much worse. Alley is one of the world’s leading climate researchers and was the chairperson of a ...

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Jan Fagerberg. A Layman’s Guide to Evolutionary Economics

During the last decades we have seen a revival of interest in the works of Joseph Schumpeter and “evolutionary” ideas in economics more generally. This paper presents an overview and interpretation of these developments. Following an introductory discussion of the concepts and ideas (and their origins) the main characteristics of Schumpeter’s own contribution are presented. On this basis we make an assessment of the more recent contributions in this area, the (mostly applied) “neo-schumpeteria...

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Sidney G. Winter. Developing Evolutionary Theory for Economics and Management

In the spring of 1959, chance events led me to read a 1950 paper by Armen Alchian, entitled “Uncertainty, Evolution and Economic Theory” (Alchian 1950). At the time, I was trying to do a dissertation featuring an empirical analysis of the determinants of corporate spending on research and development. R&D had become quite a hot topic in applied economics after the mid-1950s. The theoretical framework that I had planned to use in this investigation was a model based on the familiar concept of t...

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Bahar Araz Takay, Hüseyin Özel. Schumpeter and the Evolutionary Economics: Three Conceptual Issues

Since Charles Darwin‟s Origin of the Species, published in 1859, the notion of evolution stands at the center of heated controversies, both in natural and social sciences, economics being no exception. This is quite natural because Darwinism suggests an overall evolutionary approach, a full-blown scientific paradigm, so important that it should not be limited to biology only (Hodgson 2006: 12). Moreover, the influence of the concept of evolution on economics gets further into the agenda as Dar...

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Erik S. Reinert. Evolutionary Economics, Classical Development Economics, and the History of Economic Policy: A Plea for Theorizing by Inclusion

The author argues that in order to create a qualitative understanding of the factors polarizing the world in growing wealth and growing poverty there is a need to create economics by inclusion, a system where all relevant factors, some of which have been part of the economic discourse for centuries, but also elements (like the different effects of process and product innovations) that are part of evolutionary economics itself, are considered simultaneously. According to the author, this histor...

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Geoffrey M. Hodgson. Evolutionary and Competence-Based Theories of the Firm

This essay explores evolutionary and competence-based theories of the firm. “Evolutionary” approaches to the theory of the firm often invoke the biological metaphor of natural selection[1]. The classic example here is the seminal work by Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter: An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change (1982). Exponents of evolutionary approaches argue that they provide better theoretical tools to understand technological and organizational change within the firm, especially when com...

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