Action Plans and Socio-Economic Evolutionary Change
An important challenge to evolutionary economics consists of how to tackle with the dramatic tension between purposeful human action and the ‘blindness’ of evolutionary processes. On the one hand, economic action, if rational, has to be planned (which implies purposeful ordering of the means used to achieve objectives). On the other hand, an evolutionary process involves both the emergence of novelties (both intended innovations and unintended consequences of actions) and properties that manifest at meso and macro levels. Some recent papers have insisted on these issues. However, few analytical tools are yet available to cope with both, the analysis of intended dynamic action and ‘blind’ evolution. In this paper we propose the so-called ‘action plan approach’, a theoretical framework which could be useful for this task. The development of tools that permit us to analyze how individuals construct their plans, the projective (conjectural) and interactive nature of action, and the learning processes involved in ‘planning and acting’, may help us identifying and understanding new sources of complexity of economic processes. The close relationship of the ‘action plan approach’ with other systemic conceptual approaches is also highlighted.
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- Richard R. Nelson, 2005.
"Bounded Rationality, Cognitive Maps, and Trial and Error Learning,"
LEM Papers Series
2005/28, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
- Nelson, Richard R., 2008. "Bounded rationality, cognitive maps, and trial and error learning," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 78-89, July.
- Brian J. Loasby, 2001. "Time, knowledge and evolutionary dynamics: why connections matter," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 393-412.
- Loasby, Brian J., 2002. "The evolution of knowledge: beyond the biological model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1227-1239, December.
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