We explore the idea of public policy from the perspective of evolutionary thinking. This involves paying attention to concepts like diversity, population, selection, innovation, coevolution, group selection, path-dependence and lock-in. We critically discuss the notion of evolutionary progress. The relevance of evolutionary dynamics is illustrated for policy and political change, technical change, sustainability transitions and regulation of consumer behaviour. A lack of attention for the development of evolutionary policy criteria and goals is identified and alternative choices are critically evaluated. Finally, evolutionary policy advice is compared with policy advice coming from neoclassical economics, public choice theory and theories of resilience and adaptive management. We argue that evolutionary thinking offers a distinct and useful perspective on public policy design and change.
|Date of creation:||May 2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Deutschhausstrasse 10, 35032 Marburg|
Web page: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb19/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Norton, Bryan & Costanza, Robert & Bishop, Richard C., 1998. "The evolution of preferences: Why 'sovereign' preferences may not lead to sustainable policies and what to do about it," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 193-211, February.
- Levin, Simon A. & Barrett, Scott & Aniyar, Sara & Baumol, William & Bliss, Christopher & Bolin, Bert & Dasgupta, Partha & Ehrlich, Paul & Folke, Carl & Gren, Ing-Marie & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Annma, 1998. "Resilience in natural and socioeconomic systems," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 221-262, May.
- Joëlle Noailly & Jeroen Bergh & Cees Withagen, 2009.
"Local and Global Interactions in an Evolutionary Resource Game,"
Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 155-173, March.
- Joëlle Noailly & Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & Cees A. Withagen, 2005. "Local and Global Interactions in an Evolutionary Resource Game," Working Papers 2005.78, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
- Daniel Friedman, 1998. "On economic applications of evolutionary game theory," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 15-43.
- Daniel Friedman, 2010. "On Economic Applications of Evolutionary Game Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 53, David K. Levine.
- Jeroen Bergh & Sigrid Stagl, 2003. "Coevolution of economic behaviour and institutions: towards a theory of institutional change," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 289-317, August.
- Jeroen van den Bergh & John Gowdy, 2000. "Evolutionary Theories in Environmental and Resource Economics: Approaches and Applications," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(1), pages 37-57, September.
- Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & John M. Gowdy, 1998. "Evolutionary Theories in Environmental and Resource Economics: Approaches and Applications," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-122/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Henrich, Joseph, 2004. "Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-35, January.
- Witt, Ulrich, 1992. "The Endogenous Public Choice Theorist," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 117-129, January.
- Andy Stirling, 2007. "A General Framework for Analysing Diversity in Science, Technology and Society," SPRU Working Paper Series 156, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
- van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2008. "Optimal diversity: Increasing returns versus recombinant innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 565-580, December.
- Safarzynska, Karolina & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2010. "Evolving power and environmental policy: Explaining institutional change with group selection," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 743-752, February.
- Hahn, Robert W, 1990. "The Political Economy of Environmental Regulation: Towards a Unifying Framework," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 21-47, April.
- Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Knudsen, Thorbjorn, 2006. "Why we need a generalized Darwinism, and why generalized Darwinism is not enough," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-19, September.
- Jeroen Bergh, 2007. "Evolutionary thinking in environmental economics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 521-549, October.
- Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2007. "Evolutionary Thinking in Environmental Economics," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-018/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M. & Gowdy, John M., 2009. "A group selection perspective on economic behavior, institutions and organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-20, October.
- Jeroen C.J.M. Van den Bergh & John M. Gowdy, 2009. "A Group Selection Perspective on Economic Behavior, Institutions and Organizations," Post-Print hal-00695532, HAL.
- Kallis, Giorgos, 2007. "When is it coevolution?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-6, April.
- Paul Windrum & Chris Birchenhall, 2005. "Structural change in the presence of network externalities: a co-evolutionary model of technological successions," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 123-148, January.
- Windrum Paul & Birchenhall Chris, 2004. "Structural change in the presence of network externalities: a co-evolutionary model of technological successions," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- Rammel, Christian & van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2003. "Evolutionary policies for sustainable development: adaptive flexibility and risk minimising," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 121-133, December.
- Johansson,Per-Olov, 1987. "The Economic Theory and Measurement of Environmental Benefits," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348102, September.
- Constant, Edward II, 2002. "Why evolution is a theory about stability: constraint, causation, and ecology in technological change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1241-1256, December.
- Christian Cordes, 2006. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to continuity," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 529-541, December.
- Christian Cordes, 2004. "Darwinism in Economics: From Analogy to Continuity," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2004-15, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- Teubal, Morris, 1997. "A catalytic and evolutionary approach to horizontal technology policies (HTPs)," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1161-1188, January.
- Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- Alistair Munro, 1997. "Economics and biological evolution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(4), pages 429-449, June.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
- Joëlle Noailly, 2008. "Coevolution of economic and ecological systems," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, February.
- Richard R. Nelson, 1995. "Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 48-90, March.
- Kallis, Giorgos, 2010. "Coevolution in water resource development: The vicious cycle of water supply and demand in Athens, Greece," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 796-809, February.
- Nill, Jan & Kemp, Ren, 2009. "Evolutionary approaches for sustainable innovation policies: From niche to paradigm?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 668-680, May.
- Manner, Mikko & Gowdy, John, 2010. "The evolution of social and moral behavior: Evolutionary insights for public policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 753-761, February.
- Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E, 1996. "The Evolution of Social Norms in Common Property Resource Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 766-788, September.
- Metcalfe, J S, 1994. "Evolutionary Economics and Technology Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 931-944, July.
- Peters, Irene & Ackerman, Frank & Bernow, Stephen, 1999. "Economic theory and climate change policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 501-504, September.
- Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
- Winder, Nick & McIntosh, Brian S. & Jeffrey, Paul, 2005. "The origin, diagnostic attributes and practical application of co-evolutionary theory," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 347-361, September.
- Joshua M. Epstein & Robert L. Axtell, 1996. "Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550253, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2009-02. 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: (Christoph Mengs)
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.