IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The evolutionary and non-Darwinian economics of Joseph Schumpeter

Listed author(s):
  • Geoffrey M. Hodgson


    (The Judge Institute of Management Studies, University of Cambridge, Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1AG, UK)

In a recent paper, Matthias Kelm (1997) accepts that `Schumpeter's definition of evolution does not contain any Darwinian mechanism such as natural selection or any other biological concept' and that Schumpeter `made no such attempt' to apply `Darwinian theory to economic evolution'. However, Kelm goes on to argue that Schumpeter would have been a Darwinian if circumstances were different. It is argued here that this contention is highly implausible because Schumpeter explicitly rejected biological metaphors and analogies in economics. Furthermore, Schumpeter misunderstood Darwinism. In his attempt to `interpret' Schumpeter as a Darwinian, Kelm himself misrepresents the three core principles of Darwinism. In addition Kelm's paper contains several misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the assessment of Schumpeter made by Hodgson (1993). This present response concludes that Schumpeter was indeed one of the greatest economists of the twentieth century and that he may legitimately be described as an `evolutionary economist'. However, he cautioned strongly against the use of biological metaphors in economics and there is no legitimate basis for describing his approach as Darwinian.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 7 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 131-145

in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:7:y:1997:i:2:p:131-145
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:7:y:1997:i:2:p:131-145. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.