Evolutionary Economics: Its Nature and Future

Cambridge University Press (2019)
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Abstract

This Element examines the historical emergence of evolutionary economics, its development into a strong research theme after 1980, and how it has hosted a diverse set of approaches. Its focus on complexity, economic dynamics and bounded rationality is underlined. Its core ideas are compared with those of mainstream economics. But while evolutionary economics has inspired research in a number of areas in business studies and social science, these have become specialized and fragmented. Evolutionary economics lacks a sufficiently-developed core theory that might promote greater conversation across these fields. A possible unifying framework is generalized Darwinism. Stronger links could also be made with other areas of evolutionary research, such as with evolutionary anthropology and evolutionary psychology. As evolutionary economics has migrated from departments of economics to business schools, institutes of innovation studies and elsewhere, it also needs to address the problem of its lack of a single disciplinary location within academia.

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