Economic emergence: An evolutionary economic perspective

Foster, John and Metcalfe, J. Stan (2012) Economic emergence: An evolutionary economic perspective. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 82 2-3: 420-432. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2011.09.008

Author Foster, John
Metcalfe, J. Stan
Title Economic emergence: An evolutionary economic perspective
Journal name Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-2681
Publication date 2012-05
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.09.008
Volume 82
Issue 2-3
Start page 420
End page 432
Total pages 13
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract The standard neoclassical approach to economic theorising excludes, by definition, economic emergence and the related phenomenon of entrepreneurship. We explore how the most economic of human behaviours, entrepreneurship, came to be largely excluded from mainstream economic theory. In contrast, we report that evolutionary economists have acknowledged the importance of understanding emergence and we explore the advances that have been made in this regard. We go on to argue that evolutionary economics can make further progress by taking a more 'naturalistic' approach to economic evolution. This requires that economic analysis be fully embedded in complex economic system theory and that associated understandings as to how humans react to states of uncertainty be explicitly dealt with. We argue that 'knowledge,' because of the existence of uncertainty is, to a large degree 'conjectural' and, thus, is closely linked to our emotional states. Our economic behaviour is also influenced by the reality that we, and the systems that we create, are dissipative structures. Thus, we introduce the notions of 'energy gradients' and 'knowledge gradients' as essential concepts in understanding economic emergence and resultant economic growth.
Keyword Biological analogy
Bounded rationality
Complex system
Constrained optimization
Dissipative structure
Economic emergence
Economic growth
Energy economics
Evolutionary economics
Institutional change
Organizational change
Self organization
Technological change
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 24 September 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Economics Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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