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Evolutionary Economics: A Study of Change in Economic Thought (Classics in Economics Series)
Transaction Publishers | ISBN: 0887388663 | 1991-01-01 | PDF | 145 pages | 4 Mb
No problem has given rise to more disagreement among economists than that of economic and social change. Is it a mechanical static concept concerned mainly with economic equilibrium, or an evolutionary dynamic, one concerned with growth, development, and expansion? Hamilton argues that how one answers this question is the fundamental point of difference between classical economics and evolutionary or institutional economics. Hamilton defines classical economists as all those in the economic mainstream, from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes, and institutional economists as only those who are followers of Thorstein Veblen. He traces the origin and development of the two points of view by showing how economists have dealt with the problem of change since the time of Smith. He discusses the Newtonian and Darwinian frames of references: change and human nature, change and social organization, and change and progress. For Hamilton, economics as a science is part of a continuum with the other social sciences, one capable of incorporating the major sociological, as well as the economic issues of the twentieth century. It is in theories of dynamics, he charges, that the classical theoretical structure is without foundation, because it accepts a mechanical and essentially static concept instead of a cumulative cultural outlook.