A transdisciplinary perspective on economic complexity. Marshall's problem revisited
Abstract“Marshall's problem” consists in finding a way to integrate physics and biology into economics in order to represent a complex economic world. It is widely believed that Alfred Marshall was the first to address the issue, but he failed to integrate the two methodological approaches into economics. In particular the prevailing view is that Marshall was unable to follow through on his declaration that biology is the “Mecca” of economics. This paper reconsiders “Marshall's problem” by focusing on the intellectual connections among Darwin, Babbage and Marshall: it explores the relationship between Marshall's view of complexity as a dialectical mixing of routine and variation and reconstructs the development of a powerful intellectual model that we call the “evolutionary machine”.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Volume (Year): 80 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo
Marshall; Darwin; Babbage; Complexity; Transdisciplinarity;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Raffaelli, Tiziano, 2007. "Marshall's Metaphors on Method," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 135-151, June.
- Marchionatti Roberto, 2002. "Dealing with complexity Marshall and Keynes on the nature of economic thinking," CESMEP Working Papers 200201, University of Turin.
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000.
"Walrasian Economics In Retrospect,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1411-1439, November.
- Rosser, J. Jr., 1992. "The dialogue between the economic and the ecologic theories of evolution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 195-215, March.
- Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
- Coase, Ronald H, 1975. "Marshall on Method," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 25-31, April.
- David Colander, 1995. "Marshallian General Equilibrium Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 281-293, Summer.
- Babbage, Charles, 1832. "Economy of Machinery and Manufactures," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number babbage1832.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "The Contributions Of The Economics Of Information To Twentieth Century Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1441-1478, November.
- Krugman, Paul, 1998. "Two Cheers for Formalism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1829-36, November.
- Niman, Neil B., 1991. "Biological Analogies in Marshall's Work," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 19-36, June.
- Marchionatti Roberto, 2002. "What don't economists know now that Marshall knew a century ago?," CESMEP Working Papers 200202, University of Turin.
- Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
- Rosser Jr., J. Barkley, 2010. "Is a transdisciplinary perspective on economic complexity possible?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 3-11, July.
- Niman, Neil B., 2008. "Charles Babbage'S Influence On The Development Of Alfred Marshall'S Theory Of The Firm," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(04), pages 479-490, December.
- Antonelli Cristiano & Ferraris Gianluigi, 2012. "Endogenous knowledge externalities: an agent based simulation model where schumpeter meets Marshall," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201202, University of Turin.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.