Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the challenges raised by the inclusion of evolutionary elements in the theories of Carl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, and Friedrich Hayek. Each adopted an idiosyncratic position in terms of method of inquiry, focus, and general message. The breadth of the topics and phenomena they cover testifies to the great variety of interpretations and potential uses of evolutionary concepts in economics. Menger, who made no reference to Darwin’s theory, advanced an “organic” view of the emergence of social institutions. Schumpeter elaborated an original theory of industrial development based on the recurrent emergence and dissemination of innovations. Hayek adopted the biological notion of group selection and made it the central element in his theory of cultural evolution and the rise of the free market. The chapter concludes with a preliminary evaluation of the possible role that evolutionary theorizing might play in the future development of Austrian economics.

Keywords: Darwin, evolution, free market, Friedrich Hayek, innovations, institutions, Carl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.