The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Veblen, Thorstein Bunde (1857–1929)

  • Geoffrey M. Hodgson
Reference work entry


This article outlines the work of the American institutional economist Thorstein Veblen (1857–1929), stressing his critique of neoclassical economics and his development of an alternative, evolutionary approach to the analysis of social, economic and technological change. Veblen’s analytical approach to both technology and institutions is discussed, as well as his explicit application of the evolutionary ideas from Darwinian biology to economics.


Ayres, C. E. Clark, J. M. Commons, J. R. Conspicuous consumption Consumer sovereignty Customs Darwin, C. Economic man Evolutionary economics Explanation Habit Hedonism Innovation Institutional economics James, W. Mark, K. H. McDougall, W. Mitchell, W. C. Natural selection Neoclassical economics Old institutionalism Peirce, C. S. Pragmatism Preferences Spencer, H. Sumner, W. G. Technical change Utililitarianism Veblen, T. B. 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey M. Hodgson
    • 1
  1. 1.