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Is Novelty always a good thing? Towards an Evolutionary Welfare Economics

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  • Christian Schubert

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Abstract

Schumpeter’s and Hayek’s view of market coordination as being not about efficiency, but about endogenous change and never-ending discovery has been increasingly recognized even by the mainstream of economics. Underlying this view is the notion of creative learning agents who bring about novelty. We argue that apart from the challenges it poses for positive theorizing, novelty (be it technological, institutional or commercial) also has a complex normative dimension that standard welfare economics is unsuited to deal with. We show that welfare economics has to be reconstructed on the basis of evolutionary-naturalistic insights into the way human agents bring about, value and respond to novelty-induced change.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Schubert, 2009. "Is Novelty always a good thing? Towards an Evolutionary Welfare Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2009-03
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthijs J. Janssen, 2015. "Cross-specialization: A New Perspective on Industry Policy," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1519, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2015.
    2. Jan Schnellenbach, 2015. "Does classical liberalism imply an evolutionary approach to policy-making?," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 53-70, April.
    3. Agnieszka Lipieta & Andrzej Malawski, 2016. "Price versus quality competition: in search for Schumpeterian evolution mechanisms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 1137-1171, December.
    4. Peter Schmidt, 2015. "Market vs. system failure as a rationale for EU regional policy? A critique from an evolutionary economic perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa15p842, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Hans-Jürgen Engelbrecht, 2014. "A general model of the innovation - subjective well-being nexus," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 377-397, April.
    6. Andreas Chai, 2017. "Tackling Keynes’ question: a look back on 15 years of Learning To Consume," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 251-271, April.
    7. Martin Binder, 2014. "Should evolutionary economists embrace libertarian paternalism?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 515-539, July.
    8. Christian Schubert, 2014. "“Generalized Darwinism” and the quest for an evolutionary theory of policy-making," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 479-513, July.
    9. Komlos John, 2016. "Has Creative Destruction become more Destructive?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-12, October.
    10. Schubert Christian & Binder Martin, 2014. "Reconciling Normative and Behavioral Economics: An Application of the “Naturalistic Approach” to the Adaptation Problem," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(2-3), pages 350-365, April.
    11. Jeroen Bergh & Giorgos Kallis, 2013. "A survey of evolutionary policy: normative and positive dimensions," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 281-303, October.
    12. Kristen B. Cooper, 2017. "Consumer well-being in a future of accelerating novelty," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 315-335, April.
    13. Peter Schmidt, 2015. "Market failure vs. system failure as a rationale for economic policy? A critique from an evolutionary perspective," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2015-04, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    14. Christian Cordes, 2014. "There are several ways to incorporate evolutionary concepts into economic thinking," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2014-02, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Novelty; Endogenous Change; Preference Formation; Welfare; Justice Length 28 pages;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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