Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume III
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Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume III

Developments in Major Fields of Economics

Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz

Volume III contains entries on the development of major fields in economics from the inception of systematic analysis until modern times. The reader is provided with succinct summary accounts of the main problems, the methods used to address them and the results obtained across time. The emphasis is on both the continuity and the major changes that have occurred in the economic analysis of problematic issues such as economic growth, income distribution, employment, inflation, business cycles and financial instability. Each Handbook can be read individually and acts as a self-contained volume in its own right. It can be purchased separately or as part of a three-volume set.
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Chapter 14: Evolutionary economics

Kurt Dopfer


The last three decades have seen an upsurge in the number of publications addressing themes that have come to be grouped under the heading of “evolutionary economics”, paralleled by the foundation of new journals and new scientific societies devoted to the subject matter. It was a great moment for the science of economics, and for evolutionary economics in particular, when An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change was published, in 1982, by Richard R. Nelson and Sidney G. Winter – a work that served as an icebreaker and, arguably, gave the early stages their critical momentum. In a recent bibliometric account comprising the abstracts of articles published in all economic journals over the past half-century, Sandra Silva and Aurora Teixeira have been documenting the impressive magnitudes and structural dynamic of this trend – a trend that has accelerated tremendously in the last two decades, considering that 90 per cent of this body of research is recorded as having been published since 1990 (Silva and Teixeira 2009).

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