Rethinking Economic Evolution
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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.
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Chapter 5: How Evolutionary is Schumpeter's Theory of Economic Development?

Ulrich Witt


Despite the enormous prominence of the work of Joseph A. Schumpeter in terms of citations there is nothing like a Schumpeterian school in economics—even though, particularly during his tenure at Harvard University from 1932 until his death in 1950, Schumpeter had extremely talented students in his classes. Many of them—Bergson, Georgescu-Roegen, Goodwin, Hirshleifer, Musgrave, Samuelson, Stolpher, and Tobin, to mention just a few—became eminent economists in their own right, and usually recalled Schumpeter's classes with sympathy, if not admiration.

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