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On the proper interpretation of 'evolution' in economics and its implications for production theory

Ulrich Witt

Journal of Economic Methodology, 2004, vol. 11, issue 2, 125-146

Abstract: How relevant is the notion of evolution for economics? In view of the paradigmatic influence of Darwinian thought, several recently advocated interpretations are discussed first which rely on Darwinian concepts. As an alternative, a notion of evolution is suggested that is based on a few, abstract, common principles which all domain-specific evolutionary processes share, including those in the economy. A different, ontological question is whether and, if so, how the various domain-specific evolutionary processes are connected. As an answer, an evolutionary continuity hypothesis is postulated and its concrete economic implications are discussed exemplarily for the theory of production.

Keywords: evolutionary economics; novelty; selection metaphor; sociobiology; Universal Darwinism; production theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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