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A Common Framework for Evolutionary and Institutional Economics


  • Jing Chen
  • James Galbraith


We present a common analytical framework for evolutionary and institutional economics, conceived as the study of systems that do not tend toward, nor necessarily fluctuate around, a steady state. Using an evolutionary equation, we derive an analytical theory of the relation between resource abundance and the rate of return available under differing institutional structures. We suggest that the recent political and financial turmoil around the world reflects incompatibilities between existing institutional structures and the increasing scarcity of resources. We apply this idea to the most fundamental determinant of any society's prosperity, profitability and even long-term survival, namely its fertility and rate of population growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Jing Chen & James Galbraith, 2012. "A Common Framework for Evolutionary and Institutional Economics," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 419-428.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:2:p:419-428
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624460217

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Jing, 2012. "The nature of discounting," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 313-324.

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