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Evolutionary Alternatives to Equilibrium Economics


  • Joseph E. Pluta


Built on the fictional concept of equilibrium, mainstream economics provides a method of analysis that, when paired with the calculus, enables relatively easy identification of maximum and minimum values. Lacking empirical evidence of its behavioral assumptions, the profession accepts such familiar claims as consumer maximization of utility and business firm maximization of profit or revenue. In place of the relatively static concept of equilibrium, the Veblen-Myrdal notion of circular and cumulative causation (CCC) arguably has greater descriptive capability and more penetrating insight for policy recommendations. This article traces the historical origins of both concepts and argues that CCC offers considerable potential for a broad, dynamic, interdisciplinary, more thorough, and more accurate analytical framework. Specific examples of work that has been done along with suggestions for future applications of this concept are given. Copyright © 2010 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Pluta, 2010. "Evolutionary Alternatives to Equilibrium Economics," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 1155-1177, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:69:y:2010:i:4:p:1155-1177

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