Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Narrow and the Broad Approach to Evolutionary Modeling in Economics

Heinrich, Torsten (2016): The Narrow and the Broad Approach to Evolutionary Modeling in Economics.

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Some models in evolutionary economics rely on direct analogies to genetic evolution: Assuming a population of firms with routines, technologies and strategies on which forces of diversity generation and selection act. This narrow conception can build upon previous findings from evolutionary biology. Broader concepts of evolution allow either many or just one adaptive entity instead of necessarily requiring a population. Thus, an institution or a society can also be understood as the evolutionary entity. Both the narrow and the broad approach have been extensively used in the literature, albeit in different literature traditions. The paper gives an overview over the conception and the development of both approaches to evolutionary modeling and argues that a generalization is needed to realize the full potential of evolutionary modeling.

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