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A Layman's Guide to Evolutionary Economics


  • Jan Fagerberg

    (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)


During the last decades we have seen a revival of interest in the works of Joseph Schumpeter and evolutionary ideas in economics more generally. This paper presents an overview and interpretation of these developments. Following an introductory discussion of the concepts and ideas (and their origins) the main characteristics of Schumpeter s own contribution are presented. On this basis we make an assessment of the more recent contributions in this area, the (mostly applied) neo-schumpeterian literature that attempts to use Schumpeterian concepts to empirically analyse real world phenomena, and the more formal evolutionary modelling literature associated with the names of Sidney Winter and Richard Nelson. Finally we raise the question of how much the different contributions considered in the paper actually have in common (is there a common core?), and what the differences and similarities are when compared to other approaches (particularly the so-called new growth theory).

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Fagerberg, 2002. "A Layman's Guide to Evolutionary Economics," Working Papers 17, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:wpaper:17

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    1. Landström, Hans & Harirchi, Gouya & Åström, Fredrik, 2012. "Entrepreneurship: Exploring the knowledge base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1154-1181.

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