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Evolutionary Modelling in Economics: A Survey of Methods and Building Blocks


  • Karolina Safarzynska
  • Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh


In this paper we present an overview of methods and components of formal economic models employing evolutionary approaches. This compromises two levels: (1) techniques of evolutionary modelling, including multi-agent modelling, evolutionary algorithms and evolutionary game theory; (2) building blocks or components of formal models classified into core processes and features of evolutionary systems - diversity, innovation and selection - and additional elements, such as bounded rationality, diffusion, path dependency and lock-in, co-evolutionary dynamics, multilevel and group selection, and evolutionary growth. We focus our attention on the characteristics of models and techniques and their underlying assumptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Karolina Safarzynska & Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2008. "Evolutionary Modelling in Economics: A Survey of Methods and Building Blocks," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2008-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2008-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pablo Martin de Holan & Nelson Phillips, 2004. "Remembrance of Things Past? The Dynamics of Organizational Forgetting," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1603-1613, November.
    2. Lazaric, Nathalie & Mangolte, Pierre-Andre & Massue, Marie-Laure, 2003. "Articulation and codification of collective know-how in the steel industry: evidence from blast furnace control in France," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1829-1847, December.
    3. von Hippel, Eric & Tyre, Marcie J., 1995. "How learning by doing is done: problem identification in novel process equipment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-12, January.
    4. Cowan, Robin & David, Paul A & Foray, Dominique, 2000. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 211-253, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Safarzynska, Karolina & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2011. "Beyond replicator dynamics: Innovation-selection dynamics and optimal diversity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 229-245, May.
    2. repec:rsq:wpaper:33/14 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    bounded rationality; evolutionary algorithms; evolutionary game theory; evolutionary growth; innovation; multilevel evolution; neo-Schumpeterian models Length 51 pages;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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