Guidelines for a study of whole human beings,
not just homo oeconomicus.
Methodological guidelines to the description
of societies and economies, renouncing to methodological individualism.
The fundamental difference between evolutionary
and neoclassical economics relies on the concept of time.
Building on the former, the paper allows for
opening new venues of data analysis such as temporal
4. Substantive examples of intertwined micro-
and macroeconomic theory embedding key methodological insights of
A sharp systematic list of differences of the
consumer theory under neoclassical and evolutionary economics.
4.2. Agent-based models: a structured set
of consumer rules and a testbed for general routines
The most typical formal tool in evolutionary
economics is agent-based modelling, by which all agents are
individually modelled and emerging properties can arise. In
this paper, an extensive treatment of consumers in agent-based
possible models is provided. In
this other paper, the key concept of "routine" is
introduced and you are given a testbed for comparing results from
the implementation of routines with real data in an interpersonal
validation procedure for agent-based models.
4.3. Companies dynamics
with competition on a multiplicity of leverages (technology,
product differentiation, prices,
advertising,...) and persistent
profits, more or less turbolent market shares, etc. are common presence
in evolutionary industrial dynamics.
In this paper, an exploration of
modelling about companies is provided, introducing issues of structural
fragility between real and financial markets. The dual problem of
labour market and micro-macro success
is a key concern.
dynamics: a graph representation
With time delays and varying elasticities, macroeconomic
variables are interconnected and they can be usefully represented
by network graphs.
5. Comparing history-friendly evolutionary
models with empirical realities
book, a chapter is devoted to the way emerging properties in
both real and artificial worlds (including history-friendly
models) become the main line of conjuction between the two (ch.
6. What's an acceptable explanation
In evolutionary economics, you explain a certain
situation (e.g. a configuration of values and structures) by taking
a step back in time, describing a historical state, offer certain
dynamics (laws of motion) which generate the current and future
(alternative) states and a "final stage", chosen with
some criteria. You don't regress back ad
infinitum; you accept that there was a certain past and
you detect and demonstrate modifications of it. The explanation
is the way things change. This is in contrast with neoclassical
explanation that relies on the equilibrium concept. Explanation
is the formal demonstration that the state is optimal (in the sense
of Nash, Pareto, etc.). It's an instantaneous equilibrium (e.g.
between demand and supply), where all agents are maximising something
and don't want to introduce further changes. If something exogenously
(thus unexplainable) change, a new equilibrium is reach instantaneously
(indeed: timelessly, since it's just the crossing point of curves
and the solution of a system of equations where time is out). Even
when there is a talk of time and
the utilization of differential equations gives the appearance of
time, everything is reversible. Instead, in the evolutionary paradigm
all events take time; they cumulate and multiply over an irreversible
time, with an arrow from the burden
of the past to the tension towards the future. Their inertial
development and delays in transmission from a variable to another,
thanks to agent-to-agent microdynamics, provide a "time window"
in which the observer (an analyst
empowered by the theoretician's production) can understand and
envisage what is going to happen, while recognising that the multiplicies
of factors at play and dynamic influences engender key uncertainties.
The actions of humans can change the future. A forecast can lead
to action that avoid the forecasted events. It's falsification is
not a failure, but a scientific success. In this sense, we are anti-Popperian.
7. Multi-dimensional representations of parametres
and outcomes of simulation models
book, a few chapters are devoted to graphical methods to represent
10+ parametres in the same sheet to provide ways to give insights
on the high non-linearities typical of our modelling way (ch. 12-15).
8. Emerging properties and stylized facts
in models and in empirical data as a way to validation
morphogenesis is an innovative approach to generate all possible
states-of-the-world and changes in a micro-meso-macro system as
well as all possible shifts in the emerging distribution of entities.
Here we provide a
well-defined context in which the problem is sensible and meaningful.
By generating a morphospace that is exhaustive of
all possible shapes, you get a structured container to which both
real (empirical) and artificial (model-generated) data structures
can be mapped. Thus you will have precise indications about what
distinguish real from non-real shapes (ie. shapes that are possible
but not empirically detected), as well as how extensively models
can replicate real structures. Comparison of models can be based
on how many (and which) real structures can be generated by them.
Moreover, discovery of new structures become a possibility
for models, substantiating their power. Scientific knowledge gets
a venue for cumulativeness, in the sense that new models may be
directed to generating structures not yet generated by current models
but that exist or that might exist.
9. Teaching evolutionary economics
Teaching at EWI alternates the presentation of
the key concepts of economics, redefined
along evolutionary economics lines, and the distribution of real
data (long time series for most countries in the world), so
that the student can detect whether the
overall indications are matched by data. This implements the fundamental
difference between theoreticians
(the teacher) and the would-be analyst (the student). In so
doing, we are aiming at a critical reader who can articulate a long
reasoning, as envisaged in this
book, who literally enters into models (human
participated simulations), and develop an actively critical
attitude, ready to read and react to media coverage of the real
world, aware of interpreting fraameworks and support or reject certain
policies to change the world.
More in general, evolutionary economics puts
emphasis on interactivity in teaching, openness to a plurality of
opinions, dialogue with history and geography more than with natural
10. Ethics for evolutionary economics
In the multiple and dynamic outcomes of evolutionary
models and argumentations, where a plurality of agents have a plurality
of interests, including conflictual ones, the economist should take
side and make explicit value judgements, before providing advice
on policies. There is no unified optimization procedure that may
allow her or him to evaluate ours as the best of all possible worlds.
On the contrary, we are always at the crossroad of development pathways
that can be better or worse than the starting point. Moreover, tt
may well turns out that a pathway leading to advantages for a group
is damaging others. Pareto optimality cannot be the ethical guiding
principle of evolutionary economics. On the contrary, we are insisting
on the full responsibility of the agents for the direct and indirect
development pathways connected with their choice, their lack of
it, and of events that, while beyond their influence, require reactive
and pro-active action on their part.
11. Connection with world class evolutionary
Some of the reference websites of evolutionary
economics are the Journal
of Evolutionary Economics, Industrial
and Corporate Change and the Sant'Anna
repository of papers. For teaching, see the Journal
of Pluralism and Economics Education.
Fundamental books are the following:
R. R. and Winter S. G., Evolutionary theory of economic change (1982);
Nelson R. R., Dosi G., Helfat C. E., Pyka A., Saviotti P. P., Lee
K., Dopfer K., Malerba F. Winter S. G., Modern evolutionary economics
- An overview (2018)
Shiozawa, Masashi Morioka, Kazuhisa Taniguchi, Microfoundations
of Evolutionary Economics (2016)
* and, in policy terms, Piana
V. et al. Innovative economic policies for climate change mitigation