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Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 919–937 | Cite as

Some elements for a definition of an evolutionary efficiency criterion

  • Félix-Fernando MuñozEmail author
  • María-Isabel Encinar
Regular Article

Abstract

Together with the concepts of equilibrium, scarcity, choosing, etc., efficiency is at the core of economics. However, in an evolutionary context, efficiency raises several issues concerning to rationality, the complex evolving nature of the economy, economic change as the fundamental economic problem, and the role of expectations —that link purposeful action to actual action. The main goal of this paper is to provide some necessary elements to accommodate an efficiency criterion within an evolutionary theory of the production of action. In a nutshell, an evolving complex system could be considered as being (or “becoming”) efficient if the agents’ intentions could “materialize” in actions that would give rise to real states of affairs which, essentially, were compatible (even similar; never identical of course) with what it was expected (ex-ante) when the action “plans” were elaborated and selected. We set out this criterion as a micro-criterion and then we explore an extension of it at a systemic level using the theory of meso-level connections.

Keywords

Evolutionary efficiency Action plans Reflexivity Expectations 

JEL

B40 B52 D69 D84 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank two anonymous referees, the editor of the JEEC, and attendants at the Colloquium on Market Institutions and Economic Processes at NYU (especially, prof. Israel M. Kirzner, Mario Rizzo and David Harper) for their very helpful comments and suggestions. The usual disclaimer applies.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia EconómicaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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