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Choice, chance, and necessity in the evolution of forms of economies

  • Pavel Pelikan
Conference paper

Abstract

Whereas ants have the constitution of their anthills prescribed by their genes, humans appear free to choose the form of their societies themselves. Ex post, however, this freedom turns out strongly limited by severe performance tests that human societies, to avoid crises and disintegration, must be able to pass. As humans knew nothing and still know only little about which forms of their society have this ability, they have been forced to search for such forms by imperfectly informed trials and possibly costly errors, and thus run, without fully realizing it, a kind of higher-level Darwinian evolution. Narrowing attention from the forms of human societies to the forms of their economies, this essay searches for principles and regularities of this evolution the knowledge of which, if understood and applied, could avoid at least some otherwise likely errors in the future.

Keywords

Adaptation Potential Institutional Change Informal Institution Genetic Endowment Consumer Sovereignty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pavel Pelikan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Economics and ManagementRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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