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 13: Output dynamics, flow equilibria and structural change—A prolegomenon to evolutionary macreoeconomics

Ulrich Witt and Thomas Brenner

Subjects: economics and finance, evolutionary economics


In an evolutionary approach to macroeconomics, the market disequilibrium dynamics resulting from structural change need to be properly represented at the aggregate level. As suggested by the late F.A. Hayek, a suitable equilibrium concept required to this end as a frame of reference, is that of a flow equilibrium. The paper explores the corresponding flow dynamics that draw attention to variables not usually considered in macroeconomic theorizing. Using statistical estimates for these new variables for the West German manufacturing sector during the German unification process allows some important new insights on the relationships between structural change and macroeconomic performance.

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