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The role of the state in evolutionary economics

François Moreau

Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2004, vol. 28, issue 6, 847-874

Abstract: From an evolutionary perspective, the role of public policy extends far beyond the mere correction of market failures emphasised by neoclassical economics. Public policy may facilitate the market process. It may also guide the market process (in the case of multiple equilibria). The state can finally play a more creative role by allowing private agents to satisfy individually or collectively certain goals unattainable through market forces alone. However, this paper shows that although the scope of useful public policies is broader in an evolutionary approach than in neoclassical economics, the government's ability to direct the evolution of the economic system is highly limited. This paper also tries to formulate certain normative criteria which could act as public policy guidelines in an evolutionary perspective. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2004
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