MPhil in Management Studies Lent Term

1996The Evolution of Institutions and Technology

Provisional Schedule of Lectures and Seminars

Geoff Hodgson Judge Institute for Management Studies University of Cambridge Wed 24 January 2.00pm: `Institutions, technology, knowledge, learning and evolution: An overview' Wed 31 January 2.00pm: `The necessity of habits, rules and institutions' Wed 7 February 2.00pm: `The evolutionary metaphor: Ontogenetic and phylogenetic evolution. Levels and units of analysis: Optimisation and evolution' Wed 14 February 2.00pm: Seminar on Murphy (1994). Wed 21 February2.00pm: `Path-dependency: Technological chreods and institutional lock-in' Wed 28 February 2.00pm. `Evolutionary and competence-based theories of the firm' MPhil in Management Studies Lent Term 1996 The Evolution of Institutions and Technology Topics for Student Essays and Presentations Possible topics for a 20-minute presentation:

1. What are institutions?

2. Can game theory contribute to our understanding of the origin, nature, and functions of institutions?

3. In what ways may institutions affect our decisions and

actions? Are institutions merely constraints on decision-making, or something more?

4. Contrast the approaches to analysis based on the concepts of

(a) equilibrium and (b) cumulative causation.

5. What is `lock-in'? Give institutional and technological


6. Distinguish between different types of institutional and

technological evolution.

7. Does competitive evolution favour the most efficient

technologies and institutions?

8. Consider the concepts of `novelty' and `innovation'. How do

they relate to an evolutionary perspective?


Possible topics for a 4000-word assessment:

1. What are the main distinguishing features of the `old' and the

`new' institutional economics, and what are the limitations

and value of each?

2. In what ways can institutional and evolutionary economics

challenge models of organisational or economic phenomena based

on the assumption of rational, optimising behaviour?

3. In what way can evolutionary thinking contribute to our

understanding of institutional and technological change?

4. Critically examine the proposition that national economic

growth performances are partially explicable in terms of

institutional rigidities, sclerosis, or disruption.

5. Outline the `evolutionary' or `competence-based' theory of the

firm and contrast it with the contractarian perspective.

6. What is the evidence for long waves in technological and

economic development?

7. Outline and critically examine the concept of `national

systems of innovation'.



Basalla, G. (1989) The Evolution of Technology (Cambridge

University Press).

Choi, Y. B. (1994) Paradigms and Conventions: Uncertainty,

Decision Making, and Entrepreneurship (Ann Arbor: University

of Michigan Press).

Clark, N. G. and Juma, C. (1987) Long-Run Economics: An

Evolutionary Approach to Economic Growth (London: Pinter).

Coombs, R. Saviotti, P. and Walsh, V. (1987) Economics and

Technological Change (Basingstoke: Macmillan).

Dosi, G. (1988) `The Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic

Effects of Innovation', Journal of Economic Literature, 26(3),

September, pp. 1120-71. Reprinted in Freeman (1990).

Dosi, Giovanni (1995) `Hierarchies, Markets and Power: Some

Foundational Issues on the Nature of Contemporary Economic

Organizations', Industrial and Corporate Change, 4(1), pp. 1-19.

Dosi, G., Freeman, C., Nelson, R., Silverberg, G. and Soete, L.

L. G. (eds.) (1988) Technical Change and Economic Theory

(London: Pinter).

Dosi, G., Freeman, C., Fabiani, S. (1994) `The Process of

Economic Development: Introducing Some Stylized Facts and

Theories on Technologies, Firms and Institutions', Industrial

and Corporate Change, 3(1), pp. 1-45.

Elster, J. (1983) Explaining Technical Change (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press).

England, R. W. (ed.) (1994) Evolutionary Concepts in Contemporary

Economics (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press).

Field, A. J. (1979) `On the Explanation of Rules Using Rational

Choice Models', Journal of Economic Issues, 13(1), March, pp.

49-72. Reprinted in Hodgson (1994).

Field, A. J. (1984) `Microeconomics, Norms and Rationality',

Economic Development and Cultural Change, 32(4), July, pp.

683-711. Reprinted in Hodgson (1994).

Fransman, M. (1994) `Information, Knowledge, Vision and Theories

of the Firm', Industrial and Corporate Change, 3(3), pp. 713-57.

Freeman, C. (ed.) (1983) Long Waves in the World Economy (London:


Freeman, C. (ed.) (1990) The Economics of Innovation (Aldershot:

Edward Elgar).

Freeman, C. (1995) `The "National System of Innovation" in

Historical Perspective', Cambridge Journal of Economics,

19(1), February, pp. 5-24.

Freeman, C., Clark, J. and Soete, L. L. G. (1982) Unemployment

and Technical Innovation: A Study of Long Waves in Economic

Development (London: Pinter).

Foss, Nicolai Juul (1993) `Theories of the Firm: Contractual and

Competence Perspectives', Journal of Evolutionary Economics,

3(2), May, pp. 127-44.

Grabher, G. (ed.) (1993) The Embedded Firm: On the Socioeconomics

of Industrial Networks (London: Routledge).

Hall, P. (1994) Innovation, Economics and Evolution (Hemel

Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf).

Hamilton, Gary G. and Feenstra, Robert C. (1995) `Varieties of

Hierarchies and Markets: An Introduction', Industrial and

Corporate Change, 4(1), pp. 51-87.

Hodgson, G. M. (1988) Economics and Institutions: A Manifesto for

a Modern Institutional Economics (Cambridge: Polity Press).

Hodgson, G. M. (1989) `Institutional Rigidities and Economic

Growth', Cambridge Journal of Economics, 13(1), March, pp. 79-101.

Hodgson, G. M. (1991) `Economic Evolution: Intervention Contra

Pangloss', Journal of Economic Issues, 25(2), June, pp. 519-33.

Hodgson, G. M. (1993) Economics and Evolution: Bringing Life Back

into Economics (Cambridge: Polity Press).

Hodgson, G. M. (ed.) (1994) The Economics of Institutions

(Aldershot: Edward Elgar).

Hodgson, G. M. (1994) `Optimisation and Evolution: Winter's

Critique of Friedman Revisited', Cambridge Journal of

Economics, 18(4), August, pp. 413-30.

Hodgson, G. M. (ed.) (1995) Economics and Biology (Aldershot:

Edward Elgar).

Hodgson, G. M., Samuels, W. J. and Tool, M. R. (eds) (1994) The

Elgar Companion to Institutional and Evolutionary Economics

(Aldershot: Edward Elgar).

Hodgson, G. M. and Screpanti, E. (eds) (1991) Rethinking

Economics: Markets, Technology and Economic Evolution

(Aldershot: Edward Elgar).

Katz, M. L. and Shapiro, C. (1994) `Systems Competition and

Network Effects', Journal of Economic Perspectives, 8(2),

Spring, pp. 93-115.

Langlois, R. N. and Robertson, P. L. (1995) Firms, Markets and

Economic Change: A Dynamic Theory of Business Institutions

(London and New York: Routledge).

Liebowitz, S. J. and Margolis, Stephen E. (1994) `Network

Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy', Journal of Economic

Perspectives, 8(2), Spring, pp. 133-50.

Loasby, B. J. (1991) Equilibrium and Evolution: An Exploration of

Connecting Principles in Economics (Manchester: Manchester

University Press).

Lundvall, B.-Å. (ed.) (1992) National Systems of Innovation:

Towards a Theory of Innovation and Interactive Learning

(London: Pinter).

Mansfield, E. and Mansfield, E. (eds) (1993) The Economics of

Technical Change (Aldershot: Edward Elgar).

Mirowski, P. (1986) `Institutions as a Solution Concept in a Game

Theory Context', in Mirowski, Philip (ed.) (1986) The

Reconstruction of Economic Theory (Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff),

pp. 241-63. Reprinted in Hodgson (1994).

Mirowski, P. (1986b) `Mathematical Formalism and Economic

Explanation', in Mirowski (1986a, pp. 179-240).

Mokyr, J. (1990) The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity

and Economic Progress (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Mowery, D. C. and Oxley, J. E. (1995) `Inward Technology Transfer

and Competitiveness: The Role of National Innovation Systems',

Cambridge Journal of Economics, 19(1), February, pp. 67-93.

Mueller, D. C. (ed.) (1983) The Political Economy of Growth (New

Haven: Yale University Press).

Murphy, J. B. (1994) `The Kinds of Order in Society', in

Mirowski, Philip (ed.) (1994) Natural Images in Economic

Thought: Markets Read in Tooth and Claw (Cambridge and New

York: Cambridge University Press), pp. 536-82.

Nelson, R. R. (1981) `Research on Productivity Growth and

Productivity Differences: Dead Ends and New Departures',

Journal of Economic Literature, 29, September, pp. 1029-64.

Nelson, R. R. (1987) Understanding Technical Change as an

Evolutionary Process (Amsterdam: North-Holland).

Nelson, R. R. (1991) `Why Do Firms Differ, and How Does it

Matter?', Strategic Management Journal, 12, Special Issue,

Winter, pp. 61-74.

Nelson, R. R. (ed.) (1993) National Innovation Systems: A

Comparative Analysis (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Nelson, R. R. (1994) `The Co-evolution of Technology, Industrial

Structure, and Supporting Institutions', Industrial and

Corporate Change, 3(1), pp. 47-63.

Nelson, R. R. and Winter, S. G. (1982) An Evolutionary Theory of

Economic Change (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press).

Nooteboom, B. (1992) `Towards a Dynamic Theory of Transactions',

Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2(4), December, pp. 281-99.

North, D. C. (1990) Institutions, Institutional Change and

Economic Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University


Olson, M., Jr. (1982) The Rise and Decline of Nations (New Haven:

Yale University Press).

Penrose, E. T. (1959) The Theory of the Growth of the Firm

(Oxford: Basil Blackwell).

Plotkin, H. (1994) Darwin Machines and the Nature of Knowledge:

Concerning Adaptations, Instinct and the Evolution of

Intelligence (Harmondsworth: Penguin).

Rutherford, Malcolm C. (1994) Institutions in Economics: The Old

and the New Institutionalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University


Samuels, W. J. (ed.) (1988) Institutional Economics, 3 vols

(Aldershot: Edward Elgar).

Schotter, A. (1981) The Economic Theory of Social Institutions

(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Tylecote, A. (1992) Long Waves in the World Economy: The Present

Crisis in Historical Perspective (London: Routledge).

Williamson, O. E. and Winter, S. G. (eds) (1991) The Nature of

the Firm: Origins, Evolution, and Development (Oxford and New

York: Oxford University Press).

Witt, U. (ed.) Evolutionary Economics (Aldershot: Edward Elgar).

Veblen, T. B. (1919) The Place of Science in Modern Civilisation

and Other Essays (New York: Huebsch). Reprinted 1990 with a

new introduction by W. J. Samuels (New Brunswick:


Zysman, John (1994) `How Institutions Create Historically Rooted

Trajectories of Growth', Industrial and Corporate Change,

3(1), pp. 243-83.

Geoff Hodgson

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