Evolutionary macroeconomics: a research agenda

Foster, John (2011) Evolutionary macroeconomics: a research agenda. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 21 1: 5-28. doi:10.1007/s00191-010-0187-z

Author Foster, John
Title Evolutionary macroeconomics: a research agenda
Journal name Journal of Evolutionary Economics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0936-9937
Publication date 2011-02
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00191-010-0187-z
Volume 21
Issue 1
Start page 5
End page 28
Total pages 24
Place of publication Germany
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract In this article, the goal is to offer a new research agenda for evolutionary macroeconomics. The article commences with a broad review of the main ideas in the history of thought concerning the determinants of economic growth and an introduction to the evolutionary perspective. This is followed by a selective review of recent evolutionary approaches to macroeconomics. These approaches are found to be somewhat disconnected. It is argued that the 'micro-meso-macro' approach to economic evolution is capable of resolving this problem by offering an analytical framework in which macroeconomics can be built upon 'meso-foundations', not micro-foundations, as asserted in the mainstream. It is also stressed that the economic system and its components are complex adaptive systems and that this complexity must not be assumed away through the imposition of simplistic assumptions made for analytical convenience. It is explained that complex economic systems are, at base, energetic in character but differ from biological complex systems in the way that they collect, store and apply knowledge. It is argued that a focus upon stocks and flows of energy and knowledge in complex economic systems can yield an appropriate analytical framework for macroeconomics. It is explained how such a framework can be connected with key insights of both Schumpeter and Keynes that have been eliminated in modern macroeconomics. A macroeconomic framework that cannot be operationalized empirically is of limited usefulness so, in the last part of the article, an appropriate methodology for evolutionary macroeconomics is discussed. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.
Keyword Agent-based modelling
Complex system
Dissipative structure
Economic evolution
Economic growth
Economic methodology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Economics Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 09 Mar 2011, 10:58:32 EST by Professor John Foster on behalf of School of Economics