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The Role of Biology and Culture in Veblenian Consumption Dynamics

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  • Christian Cordes

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Abstract

This paper incorporates aspects of humans’ evolved cognition into a formal model of cultural evolution and scrutinizes their interactions with population-level processes. It is shown how the biased transmission of different kinds of behavior via cultural learning processes influences agents’ consumption behavior. Thereby, the model’s learning dynamics are capable of generating typical Veblenian consumption dynamics. Based on these insights, the paper then scrutinizes on the role of humans’ biological heritage and Darwinian concepts in the development of economic theories in general. Moreover, the relation of the ontological basis of biological and cultural evolution is addressed.

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File URL: ftp://137.248.191.199/RePEc/esi/discussionpapers/2007-13.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2007-13.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2007-13

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Keywords: Conspicuous consumption; Economic theory development; Evolutionary economics; Darwinism; Cultural evolution Length 31 pages;

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  3. Ann Jennings & William Waller, 1998. "The Place of Biological Science in Veblen's Economics," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, Duke University Press, vol. 30(2), pages 189-217, Summer.
  4. Markus Becker & Nathalie Lazaric & Richard Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 2005. "Applying Organizational Routines in understanding organizational change," Post-Print, HAL hal-00457068, HAL.
  5. Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Knudsen, Thorbjorn, 2006. "Why we need a generalized Darwinism, and why generalized Darwinism is not enough," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-19, September.
  6. Rubin, Paul H., 1982. "Evolved ethics and efficient ethics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 3(2-3), pages 161-174.
  7. Joseph E. Harrington & Jr., 1999. "Rigidity of Social Systems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 40-64, February.
  8. Christian Cordes, 2004. "Veblen's "Instinct of Workmanship," its Cognitive Foundations, and Some Implications for Economic Theory," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2004-01, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  9. Yew-Kwang Ng, 2003. "From preference to happiness: Towards a more complete welfare economics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 307-350, March.
  10. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2002. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to ontology," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 259-281.
  11. Thorbj, rn Knudsen, 2002. "Economic selection theory," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 443-470.
  12. Jack Vromen, 2004. "Conjectural revisionary economic ontology: Outline of an ambitious research agenda for evolutionary economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 213-247.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Schubert, 2009. "Darwinism in Economics and the Evolutionary Theory of Policy-Making," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2009-10, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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