Laurence S. Moss. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Economics and Evolution: A Review Article

Laurence S. Moss. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Economics and Evolution: A Review Article


Alfred Marshall suggested over a century ago that in the "more advanced stages of economics" the Mecca of the economist is economic biology. According to Marshall, ordinary static concepts (such as "equilibrium") change in meaning and acquire a definite "biological tone" when economists focus their attention to the historical development of economicinstitutions. Such economists study the balance between the "organic forces of life and decay" rather than the balancing of "crude forces" such as supply and demand. Marshall's suggestion that economists change their perspective from physical to biological conceptions was not without influence in the history of economics. Those who followed Marshall's suggestion and made the recommended switch to "growth analysis" in economics, such as Edith Penrose did in 1959, had significant influence on the development of formal economic theory during the 1960s as well as some part in shaping the curriculum of the modern business school, with its life-cycle conceptions of product and process development (1). More recently still, Brian Loasby, lamenting the switch to formalistic coherence theoretical models from the study of "co-ordination (in) real economies", has proposed a return to Marshall's Mecca (2) .




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Keywords: Evolutionary Economics

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