Rethinking Economic Evolution

Rethinking Economic Evolution

Essays on Economic Change and its Theory

Ulrich Witt

Modern economies never come to rest. From institutions to activities of production, trade, and consumption, everything is locked in processes of perpetual transformation – and so are our daily lives. Why and how do such transformations occur? What can economic theory tell us about these changes and where they might lead? Ulrich Witt’s book discusses why evolutionary concepts are necessary to answer such questions. While economic evolution is in many respects unique, it nonetheless needs to be seen within the broader context of natural evolution. By exploring this complex relationship, Rethinking Economic Evolution demonstrates the significance of an evolutionary economic theory.

Chapter 9: Evolutionary economics and psychology

Ulrich Witt

Subjects: economics and finance, evolutionary economics


Evolutionary economics focuses on the transformation of the economy over time and the consequences this has for the current conditions of production and consumption. The sources of the transformation process are human learning, problem solving, and the accumulation of knowledge and capital. The diversity of individual efforts and capabilities with respect to both learning and innovation results at any time in the generation and diffusion of a variety of innovative technologies, institutions, and commercial activities that compete with each other.

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