, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 320-325
Date: 06 Nov 2012

Economic Natural Selection: What Concept of Selection?

Abstract

The article examines two cases of adoption of evolutionary ways of thinking by modern economists: Nelson and Winter’s (Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, 1982), and evolutionary game theory (1990s and after). In both cases, the authors explicitly refer to natural selection in an economic context. I show that natural selection is taken in two different senses, which correspond to two general conceptions of the principle of natural selection, one of which contains reproduction and heredity as key elements, whereas the other does not.