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Joseph Schumpeter and Gabriel Tarde on Technological Change and Social Evolution

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  • Michaelides, Panayotis G.
  • Theologou, Kostas

Abstract

In this paper, we show that the certain elaborations of the French sociologist Gariel Tarde may be traced throughout Schumpeter’s works. More specifically, we show that Joseph Schumpeter’s views were influenced by the French social philosopher and theoretician Gabriel Tarde who delivered a theory of Social Evolution based on Technological Change as its driving force, closely related to the profiteering function of the economy. Also, we demonstrate that Tarde’s approach has striking similarities with the Schumpeterian vision of Economic Development, Change and Social Evolution. But there are similarities in their respective methodological approaches as well. For instance, the most striking similarity is that despite the importance he gave to the social stratum, Tarde, just like Schumpeter’s early approach, never fully admitted the determination of the individual’s will by the social forces. In other words, they both attempted to explain social evolution by means of individual initiative. At this point it should be mentioned that Tarde’s theory has been delivered and published about a decade before the publication of the first edition of Schumpeter’s influential Theory of Economic Development. In this context, much of this similarity in visions could be attributed to Schumpeter having carefully read Tarde and, probably, to certain common intellectual sources of influence. Part of the explanation why this similarity in visions has been inadequately acknowledged, so far, lies in the ignorance of the approaches on which Schumpeter built his treatises. In this framework, after examining the affinities of Schumpeter’s work with Gabriel Tarde, it is evident that certain Schumpeterian elaborations appear to be less unique.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Theologou, Kostas, 2009. "Joseph Schumpeter and Gabriel Tarde on Technological Change and Social Evolution," MPRA Paper 67189, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:67189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Milios, John G., 2004. "Hilferding's Influence on Schumpeter : A First Discussion," MPRA Paper 74462, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Panayotis G. Michaelides & John G. Milios & Angelos Vouldis & Spyros Lapatsioras, 2010. "Heterodox influences on Schumpeter," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 197-213, February.
    3. Rik Pieters & Henry Robben, 1999. "Consumer Evaluation of Money as a Gift: A Two‐Utility Model and an Empirical Test," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 173-200, May.
    4. Angelos Vouldis & Panayotis Michaelides & John Milios, 2011. "Emil Lederer and the Schumpeter-Hilferding-Tugan-Baranowsky Nexus," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 439-460.
    5. John Toye, 2006. "Hans Singer's debts to Schumpeter and Keynes," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(6), pages 819-833, November.
    6. Panayotis Michaelides & John Milios & Angelos Vouldis & Spyros Lapatsioras, 2010. "Emil Lederer and Joseph Schumpeter on Economic Growth, Technology and Business Cycles," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 39(2), pages 171-189, July.
    7. Shionoya,Yuichi, 1997. "Schumpeter and the Idea of Social Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521430340.
    8. Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Milios, John G. & Vouldis, Angelos, 2007. "Schumpeter and Lederer on Growth, Technology, Credit and Business Cycles," MPRA Paper 74486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Yuichi Shionoya, 1990. "Instrumentalism in Schumpeter's Economic Methodology," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 187-222, Summer.
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    11. Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Milios, John G. & Vouldis, Angelos, 2007. "Schumpeter, Lederer and Hilferding on Economic Development, Credit and Business Cycles," MPRA Paper 74472, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. A. C. Taymans, S. J., 1950. "Tarde and Schumpeter: A Similar Vision," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 611-622.
    13. Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Milios, John G., 2005. "The Influence of the German Historical School on Schumpeter," MPRA Paper 74471, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Nicolò De Vecchi, 1995. "Entrepreneurs, Institutions And Economic Change," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 129, November.
    15. Panayotis G. Michaelides & John G. Milios, 2009. "Joseph Schumpeter and the German Historical School," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 495-516, May.
    16. Robert Leeson, 1997. "Influence (or The Lack of It) in the Economics Profession: The Case of Lucien Albert Hahn," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 635-638, Winter.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Schumpeter; Tarde; evolution; invention; technology; individualism.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • 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
    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals

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