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On the Difficulty of Evolutionary Analysis

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  • Mayhew, Anne

Abstract

Thorstein Veblen's 100-year-old question--'Why is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science?'--remains relevant. Evolutionary analysis, even for those social scientists who trace their intellectual heritage to evolutionary thought, has been difficult for three reasons: effective incorporation of time requires a respectful and detailed treatment of the past; dominant social science paradigms have made it difficult to account for novelty; and concern with policy and current issues of social debate creates a tendency towards taxonomy. The twentieth-century history of economic anthropology and institutional economics illustrates that a failure to overcome these difficulties leaves Veblen's vision unfulfilled. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Mayhew, Anne, 1998. "On the Difficulty of Evolutionary Analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 449-461, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:22:y:1998:i:4:p:449-61
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    Cited by:

    1. Tae‐Hee Jo, 2011. "Social Provisioning Process and Socio‐Economic Modeling," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(5), pages 1094-1116, November.
    2. Jo, Tae-Hee, 2013. "Uncertainty, Instability, and the Control of Markets," MPRA Paper 47936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Viano Francesca Lidia, 2002. "Guesswork and knowledge in evolutionary economics: verblen revisited," CESMEP Working Papers 200205, University of Turin.
    4. Valentinov, Vladislav, 2015. "From equilibrium to autopoiesis: A Luhmannian reading of Veblenian evolutionary economics," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 143-155.

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