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Evolution and Path Dependence in Economic Ideas
Past and Present
Since the 1980s there has been a renewed interest in attempts to introduce a sense of history into economic literature. In this book, the authors argue that it is not possible to explain a state of the world without first analysing the processes that lead to that state. The contributions collected in this volume share a critical stance towards the timelessness and a historical theorizing of mainstream economics. Past states in the development of an economic process set the range of possibilities for future development and can be used to construct theories based on the irreversibility of economic time. Many of these notable contributors argue that the study of the history of economic thought is important in two ways. Firstly, because it provides important insights into the ways that economists of the past attempted to address the problems of history and secondly, because it helps us to understand the present state of economics as being itself the outcome of a path dependent process.
Evolutionary economists, economic theorists and historians, as well as economists interested in the evolution of economic and other social institutions, will find this challenging collection of papers essential reading.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'The editors are to be congratulated for assembling a volume with considerable thematic integrity. It should be required reading for all those interested in path dependence and represents a useful starting place for those who want to know what all the fuss is about.' -- Mark Setterfield, Eastern Economic Journal