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An evolutionary theory of household consumption behavior

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  • Richard Nelson
  • Davide Consoli

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Abstract

Evolutionary economics badly needs a behavioral theory of household consumption behavior, but to date only limited progress has been made on that front. Partly because Schumpeter's own writings were focused there, and partly because this has been the focus of most of the more recent empirical work on technological change, modern evolutionary economists have focused on the "supply side". However, because a significant portion of the innovation going on in capitalist countries has been in the form of new consumer goods and services, it should be obvious that dealing coherently with the Schumpeterian agenda requires a theory which treats in a realistic way how consumers respond to new goods and services. The purpose of this essay is to map out a broad alternative to the neoclassical theory of consumer behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 665-687

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:20:y:2010:i:5:p:665-687

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Related research

Keywords: Household consumption behaviour; Demand and innovation; Evolutionary economics; D11; O33; O83;

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References

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  1. Consoli, Davide, 2008. "Co-evolution of capabilities and preferences in the adoption of new technologies," MPRA Paper 7175, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-72, June.
  3. Giovanni Dosi & Christopher Freeman & Richard Nelson & Gerarld Silverberg & Luc Soete (ed.), 1988. "Technical Change and Economic Theory," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1988, June.
  4. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Cowan, R. & Cowan, W. & Swann, P., 1996. "A Model of Demand with Interactions Among Consumers," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9609, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  6. Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  7. R. Aversi & G. Dosi & G. Fagiolo & M. Meacci & C. Olivetti, 1997. "Demand Dynamics With Socially Evolving Preferences," Working Papers ir97081, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
  8. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  9. U. Witt, 2005. "From Sensory to Positivist Utilitarianism and Back -- The Rehabilitation of Naturalistic Conjectures in the Theory of Demand," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-07, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  10. Richard N. Langlois & Metin M. Cosgel, 1996. "The Organization of Consumption," Working papers 1996-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  11. Herbert Simon & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
  12. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Chai & Alessio Moneta, 2012. "Back to Engel? Some evidence for the hierarchy of needs," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 649-676, September.
  2. Patriarca, Fabrizio & Vona, Francesco, 2013. "Structural change and income distribution: An inverted-U relationship," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1641-1658.
  3. Richard Nelson, 2012. "Why Schumpeter has had so little influence on today’s main line economics, and why this may be changing," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 901-916, November.
  4. Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz & Stefan Steinerberger, 2013. "The impossibility of rational consumer choice," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 39-60, January.
  5. Kurt Dopfer, 2013. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-08, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  6. Leonhard K. Lades, 2012. "The impact of differential satiation dynamics on changing consumer behavior, wellbeing, and innovative activity," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-16, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  7. João Bernardino & Tanya Araújo, 2013. "On positional consumption and technological innovation: an agent-based model," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 1047-1071, November.
  8. Christian Schubert & Andreas Chai, 2012. "Sustainable Consumption and Consumer Sovereignty," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-14, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  9. Kemp-Benedict, Eric, 2013. "Material needs and aggregate demand," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 16-26.
  10. Richard Nelson, 2013. "Demand, supply, and their interaction on markets, as seen from the perspective of evolutionary economic theory," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 17-38, January.
  11. Marco Valente, 2012. "Evolutionary demand: a model for boundedly rational consumers," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 1029-1080, November.
  12. Safarzyńska, Karolina, 2013. "Evolutionary-economic policies for sustainable consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 187-195.
  13. Leonhard Lades, 2013. "Explaining shapes of Engel curves: the impact of differential satiation dynamics on consumer behavior," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 1023-1045, November.

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