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As Time Goes ByFrom the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution$
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Chris Freeman and Francisco Louçã

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251056

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251053.001.0001

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Schumpeter's Plea for Reasoned History

Schumpeter's Plea for Reasoned History

(p.42) 2 Schumpeter's Plea for Reasoned History
As Time Goes By

Chris Freeman (Contributor Webpage)

Francisco Louçã (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter summarizes some of the main characteristics of Schumpeter's evolutionism, discussing his own evolution in some detail, since the early days of the Methodenstreit between Menger and Schmoller, and the participation of Schumpeter along the Walrasian side.

Yet he tried to surpass what he recognized as the limits of that side: the analysis of capitalism from the point of view of statics, and consequently the understatement of the dynamic role of innovation, the main endogenous drive for change and adaptation of the economic system.

Schumpeter's non‐Darwinist evolutionism is analysed, and his contributions are compared to his main rival and bête‐noir, J. M. Keynes; in spite of the conflicting views of both men, some essential points of proximity are indicated: both interpreted modern industrial relations as part of a dynamic, nonlinear, complex system, emphasizing the emergence of uncertainty (Keynes) or change (Schumpeter).

Their closely related understanding of the cyclical nature of capitalism is indeed one of the crucial contributions of the first half‐century economics.

Keywords:   economic history, evolutionism, innovation, John Maynard, Joseph Schumpeter, Keynes, Léon, Methodenstreit, Walras

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