Economics and Evolution

Economics and Evolution : Bringing Life Back into Economics

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Description

Economic theory is currently at a crossroads. While in some quarters, the preoccupation with a narrow, and largely empty, formalism reaches unprecedented heights, many leading mainstream economists are calling for a more realistic and practical orientation for economic science. Indeed, there are now many voices suggesting that economics should be reconstructed on evolutionary lines, and a new "evolutionary economics" has emerged from the 1980s. This book is about the application to economics of evolutionary ideas learnt from biology. It contains an examiniation of evolutionary ideas in past economic thinkers, including Mandeville, Malthus, Smith, Marx, Menger, Marshall, Veblen, Schumpeter and Hayek. Hodgson argues that the new evolutionary economics can learn much from the differing conceptions of economic evolution which have been developed in the past. "Economics and Evolution" is a companion volume to "Economics and Institutions", by the same author.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • notes, bibliography, indices
  • 0745608388
  • 9780745608389

Table of contents

Part 1 Introduction - from conception to embryo: a brief diagnosis; on mechanistic and biological metaphors; economic evolution - a preliminary taxonomy. Part 2 Evolution in economics? From Mandeville to Marshall: political economy and the Darwinian revolution; revolutionary evolution - Karl Marx and Frederick Engels; Herbert Spencer - the lost satellite; the mecca of Alfred Marshall; Carl Menger and the evolution of money. Part 3 Evolution in economics? Three 20th-century theorists: Thorstein Veblen and post-Darwinian economics; Joseph Schumpeter and the evolutionary process; the evolution of Friedrich Hayek; Friedrich Hayek and spontaneous order. Part 4 Towards an evolutionary economics: optimization and evolution; evolution, indeterminacy and intention; the problem of reductionism in biology and economics; bringing life back into economics.show more

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