IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/mes/jeciss/v44y2010i4p991-1008.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Mainstream Efforts to Tell a Better Story - Natural Selection as a Misplaced Metaphor: The Problem of Corporate Power

Author

Listed:
  • John Watkins

Abstract

Darwin uses natural selection in two different senses. Struggle for existence refers to rivalry; survival of the fittest refers to surviving environmental changes. The mainstream vision of economic harmony requires casting natural selection as survival of the fittest. There is no struggle, no conflict. Mainstream economics depicts the selector in the evolutionary game as the firm itself. The mainstream vision requires banishing corporate power and the technological basis of power. For Veblen, corporate power is central. The existence of power implies that among firms, selection assumes the form of struggle. Evolutionary game theory breaks with the mainstream vision; firms are rivals. Evolutionary game theory, however, lacks the "stories" that provide a mapping between theory and reality, something institutionalists are well-positioned to provide. Stories are necessary for understanding corporate power, its origins, its use, and its limitations.

Suggested Citation

  • John Watkins, 2010. "Mainstream Efforts to Tell a Better Story - Natural Selection as a Misplaced Metaphor: The Problem of Corporate Power," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 991-1008.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:4:p:991-1008
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624440407
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2753/JEI0021-3624440407
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Torsten Heinrich & Henning Schwardt, 2013. "Institutional Inertia and Institutional Change in an Expanding Normal-Form Game," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-28, August.
    2. Heinrich, Torsten, 2016. "The Narrow and the Broad Approach to Evolutionary Modeling in Economics," MPRA Paper 75797, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:4:p:991-1008. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/MJEI20 .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.