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Natural and Economic Selection - Lessons from the Evo-Devo and Multilevel Selection Debate

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  • Georg Schwesinger

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    (University of Bremen)

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    Abstract

    This paper sheds new light on the concept of selection in evolutionary economics. The interpretation of natural evolution has experienced significant changes in the last decades, while these developments have been often ignored by economists. This is especially true for the concept of selection, a key concept in many evolutionary approaches. In economics as well as in biology, selection is seen as a central mechanism, which mediates for example the spread of information and innovation, the coordination of groups of agents and the optimization of their behavior. In this article we are aiming to explore the actual significance of selection as a major explanatory principle in economics. Starting with an analysis of a modern and modified understanding of the selection mechanism in nature we will draw some conclusions for its use in economics.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2013-014.

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    Date of creation: 03 Apr 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2013-014

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    Keywords: Selection; Bioeconomics; Evo-Devo; Cultural Evolution; Multilevel Selection; Economic Theory;

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    1. Christian Cordes, 2004. "Darwinism in Economics: From Analogy to Continuity," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2004-15, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    2. Metcalfe, J S, 1994. "Competition, Fisher's Principle and Increasing Returns in the Selection Process," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 327-46, November.
    3. Samuelson, Paul A, 1993. "Altruism as a Problem Involving Group versus Individual Selection in Economics and Biology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 143-48, May.
    4. Pavel Pelikan, 2011. "Evolutionary developmental economics: how to generalize Darwinism fruitfully to help comprehend economic change," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 341-366, May.
    5. Klaus Rathe & Ulrich Witt, 2001. "The Nature of the Firm – Static versus Developmental Interpretations," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 331-351, September.
    6. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2002. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to ontology," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 259-281.
    7. Christian Cordes & Peter J. Richerson & Georg Schwesinger, 2011. "A Corporation's Culture as an Impetus for Spinoffs and a Driving Force of Industry Evolution," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-11, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    8. Cordes, Christian & Richerson, Peter J. & Schwesinger, Georg, 2010. "How corporate cultures coevolve with the business environment: The case of firm growth crises and industry evolution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 465-480, December.
    9. Berg, Nathan & Gigerenzer, Gerd, 2010. "As-if behavioral economics: Neoclassical economics in disguise?," MPRA Paper 26586, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Wilson, David Sloan & Gowdy, John M., 2013. "Evolution as a general theoretical framework for economics and public policy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 90(S), pages S3-S10.
    11. Geoffrey Hodgson, 2004. "Darwinism, causality and the social sciences," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 175-194.
    12. Karin Knottenbauer, 2009. "Recent Developments in Evolutionary Biology and Their Relevance for Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-11, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
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