- The naturalist view of Universal Darwinism: an application to the evolutionary theory of the firm
- Book title
- Complexity and the economy: implications for economic policy
- Pages (from-to)
- Edward Elgar
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to recent efforts to ground evolutionary theory in economics in the principles of Universal Darwinism. The paper contrasts two views of evolution, based on the Ultra-Darwinian and Naturalist theory of biological evolution, both of which are consistent with Darwinian principles. It is argued that the specific characteristics of the Naturalist view make it the better starting point for developing an evolutionary theory of the firm. This claim is substantiated empirically by analysing a crucial episode in the history of the semiconductor firm Intel. The paper concludes that an evolutionary theory of the firm should steer clear of analogies based on mechanisms of biological reproduction such as ‘routines as genes’.
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