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A Veblenian Critique of Nelson and Winter’s Evolutionary Theory

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  • Jo, Tae-Hee

Abstract

It is often argued that Richard Nelson and Sydney Winter’s evolutionary theory is an alternative to neoclassical economics and is compatible with or complementary to Veblenian evolutionary economics. This paper subjects such arguments to critical examination. I argue that while Nelson and Winter’s theory provides a more realistic account of the firm behavior than Marshallian-neoclassical theory does, it is a neoclassical evolutionary theory in much the same sense as Marshall’s economics is quasi-evolutionary, ‘neo-classical’ economics according to Veblen. Therefore, Nelson and Winter’s evolutionary theory is in fact a protective modification of neoclassical economics and is antithetical to Veblen’s evolutionary economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Jo, Tae-Hee, 2020. "A Veblenian Critique of Nelson and Winter’s Evolutionary Theory," MPRA Paper 101380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:101380
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Thorstein Veblen; Richard Nelson; Sydney Winter; Evolutionary Theory; Institution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Modern Monetary Theory;

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