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special issue: Consumption, preferences, and the evolutionary agenda

  • J.S. Metcalfe

    ()

    (ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9QH, UK)

The purpose of this paper is to provide a preliminary evolutionary account of preferences, consumption and demand. This is particularly relevant for the study of innovation which offers consumers the opportunity to develop new behaviours. The paper approaches this question in two stages. First it recognises the importance of time as well as income constraints on consumer behaviour. Secondly, it develops a behavioural approach to consumption routines in terms of Herrnstein's concept of meloriation. In this account the focus is upon activities for which commodities and time are inputs and, with innovation, time is rescheduled on many fronts. Consumer learning is related to a replicator dynamic process. It is shown how changes in wages, prices and the time required to consume influence the demand for activities.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 37-58

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:11:y:2001:i:1:p:37-58
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