The Evolutionary Microeconomic Theory of the Household

Potts, J. (2000) The Evolutionary Microeconomic Theory of the Household. Discussion Paper No. 271, Department of Economics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Potts, J.
Title The Evolutionary Microeconomic Theory of the Household
School, Department or Centre Department of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Open Access Status Other
Report Number Discussion Paper No. 271
Publication date 2000-02-01
Subject 340101 Microeconomic Theory
Abstract/Summary This paper suggests how the evolutionary microeconomic framework can be used to model the household. The method is that also used by Gary Becker, who mapped the neoclassical theory of the household. The problem, however, is that there is no clearly identified evolutionary microeconomic theory of the firm from which to take purchase. So the first idea presented is a proposal for an evolutionary theory of the firm constructed about a general theory of production systems (cf. production functions). This evolutionary framework constructs a multiagent model centred about a theory of complex competence. A household is a complex system, in the same class of a dynamic object as a firm, and hence, if this analogy is useful, it should be possible to construct a competence-based theory of the household. I define competence as a the high-level connections realised and stabilised between the elements of a production system. This framework is sketched, and fitted against a demographic profile of household systems for stylised Western data over the past half-century. It reveals several new interpretations of the nature and effects of economic forces that act on the modern household, and also some observations on how it has adapted.
Keyword microeconomics
evolutionary theory of the firm
theory of complex competence

Document type: Department Technical Report
Collection: Discussion Papers (School of Economics)
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Created: Fri, 18 Jun 2004, 10:00:00 EST