Marshall and Schumpeter on Evolution

Marshall and Schumpeter on Evolution

Economic Sociology of Capitalist Development

Edited by Yuichi Shionoya and Tamotsu Nishizawa

This unique and original work contends that, despite the differences between Marshallian and Schumpeterian thinking, they both present formidable challenges to a broad type of social science beyond economics, particularly under the influence of the German historical school. In a departure from the received view on the nature of the works of Marshall and Schumpeter, the contributors explore their themes in terms of an evolutionary vision and method of evolution; social science and evolution; conceptions of evolution; and evolution and capitalism.


Yuichi Shionoya and Tamotsu Nishizawa

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, evolutionary economics, history of economic thought


Yuichi Shionoya and Tamotsu Nishizawa Alfred Marshall (1842–1924) and Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) have rarely been discussed jointly as serious subject matter in the history of economic thought. The absence of concern in contemporary Marshall and Schumpeter scholarship to link the two giants of economics cannot be wholly attributed to the research practice of specialization in the history of economic thought. Rather, it might be explained by the traditional understanding that while Marshall was the synthesizer of neoclassical economics, Schumpeter challenged the dynamic conception of the economy in place of the static structure of economics. Although the difference between their works appears obvious, it would not become an appealing topic such as the contrast between Schumpeter and Marx, Walras or Keynes, which historians of economics have been much concerned with. Then, the question may arise whether there is anything similar between Marshall and Schumpeter, the former regarding the capitalist economic process as a cumulative process (‘natura non facit saltum’) and the latter characterizing it as ‘creative destruction’. It might be argued that an effort to establish similarities in place of differences would be more effective in stimulating exploration and synthesis of knowledge. As the logic of the dialectics might indicate, the synthesis of antitheses requires a logically higher dimension than that on which antitheses are located. This volume attempts to put Marshall and Schumpeter in the perspective of evolutionary thinking. The concept of evolution must be loosely defined here because it belongs to a...