nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2005‒05‒07
two papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
US Naval Academy, USA

  1. How Useful Is Universal Darwinism as a Framework to Study Competition and Industrial Evolution? By G. Buenstorf
  2. The connections between the Austrian tradition and some of the recent developments relating to the economic analysis of institutions. By Pierre Garrouste

  1. By: G. Buenstorf
    Abstract: The adequate role of Darwinist concepts in evolutionary economics has long been a contentious issue. The controversy has recently been rekindled and modified by the position of "Universal Darwinism", most prominently favored by Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen. They argue that the ontology of all evolutionary systems accords to the basic Darwinist scheme of variation, selection and inheritance. This paper focuses on the emerging application of the Universal Darwinist framework to the analysis of market competition and industrial evolution and gauges its usefulness for organizing an evolutionary approach to industrial economics. Drawing on both a theoretical discussion and recent empirical findings, it argues that selection and inheritance concepts narrowly construed after the biological example are of limited help in studying markets and industries. As an alternative to the 'top-down' approach of Universal Darwinism, 'bottom-up' causal theories are suggested that explain how the interplay of descent, experience and learning shapes the competitive performance of firms in the evolution of industries.
    Keywords: Universal Darwinism, routines, pre-entry experience, spinoffs, descent
    JEL: B52 L10 L20
    Date: 2005–04
  2. By: Pierre Garrouste
    Abstract: This paper has two aims. First, it studies the way the Austrian theory of institutions evolved from the main works of Menger. Second, and most significantly, it tries to justify the idea that the economic analysis of institutions was inspired more or less explicitly by Menger’s thesis but more generally by the Austrian intuitions and thesis. These intuitions and theses are however amended in order to make them more formalized as well as testable.
    Keywords: Menger; Austrian tradition; emergence of the institutions; economic analysis of institutions.
    JEL: B25 B3 D0

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