The new institutional economics offers one of the most exciting research agendas in economics today. Yet can it really explain processes of economic change? Economic Evolution explores three of the main approaches within the new institutional economics:
* the new theory of the firm,
* Nelson and Winter's evolutionary economics
* game theoretic accounts of spontaneous evolution.
Close analysis reveals that the approaches differ on such fundamental issues as the meaning of terms like `institution' and `evolution'. However, the book also uncovers two evolutionary mechanisms that govern processes of economic change in all of these approaches.
`I think this is a wonderful book. The author considers a wide range of literatures, and discusses each with sophistication and subtlety … I learned a lot from what he had to say.' - Richard Nelson, Columbia University
'It is to Vromen's credit that he makes a difficult subject accessible…A fascinating book' -SRH Jones, Business History
Social Theory is experiencing something of a revival within economics. Critical analyses of the particular nature of the subject matter of social studies and of the types of method, categories and modes of explanation that can legitimately be endorsed for the scientific study of social objects, are re-emerging. Economists are again addressing such issues as the relationship between agency and structure, between economy and the rest of society, and between the enquirer and the object of enquiry. There is a renewed interest in elaborating basic categories such as causation, competition, culture, discrimination, evolution, money, need, order, organization, power probability, process, rationality, technology, time, truth, uncertainty, value etc.
The objective for this series is to facilitate this revival further. In contemporary economics the label “theory” has been appropriated by a group that confines itself to largely asocial, ahistorical, mathematical “modelling”. Economics as Social Theory thus reclaims the “Theory” label, offering a platform for alternative rigorous, but broader and more critical conceptions of theorizing.