- Darwinian foundations for evolutionary economics
- Journal of Economic Issues
- Volume | Issue number
- 42 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
This paper engages with the methodological debate on the contribution of Darwinism to Veblen's (1898) evolutionary research program for economics. I argue that ontological continuity, generalized Darwinism, and multi-level selection are necessary building blocks for an explanatory framework that can fulfill the promise of Veblen's program. I clarify the causal logic of generalized Darwinism and suggest an ontology for the study of economic development on the basis of multi-level selection theory. Conceptualizing economic development along these lines has interesting implications for the evolutionary analysis of institutions: institutions only become units of selection in the competition between groups of individuals.
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