Evolutionary metaphors and the justification of economic efficiency
AbstractThe selection principle of evolutionary biology seems to save the economist from having to specify all the complexities of individual optimizing choices. But concentrating exclusively on the outcomes of evolutionary processes as efficient states does not carry us very far. Either the achievement of efficiency has to be restated using the individual optimization rule, which deprives the evolutionary process of any special explanatory role; or, given that optimization provides insufficient guidance in a world of uncertainty, then it remains unclear just how the efficient social outcome is obtained. The alternative proposed and illustrated here is to break the link between selection and efficiency and to enlarge the sense of efficiency to include innovation and learning.
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.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Finnish Economic Association in its journal Finnish Economic Papers.
Volume (Year): 7 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
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.:
- Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
- Selten, Reinhard, 1991.
"Evolution, learning, and economic behavior,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 3-24, February.
- Sidney G. Winter, 1964. "Economic "Natural Selection" and the Theory of the Firm," LEM Chapters Series, in: Yale Economic Essays, pages 225-272 Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
- Witt, Ulrich, 1986. "Evolution and Stability of Cooperation without Enforceable Contracts," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 245-66.
- Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1975. "Authority, Efficiency, and Agricultural Organization in Medieval England and Beyond: A Hypothesis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(04), pages 693-718, December.
- Martti Vihanto, 1998. "Using Psychology to Reinforce the Austrian Argument for Freedom: The Case of Loan Decisions," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 303-321, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Secretary).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.