(Thursday, 5th May 2005)
Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929) was a founding father of the 'old' institutional economics. Strikingly, some of his ideas are enduringly relevant today, including his application of Darwinian principles to economic evolution. In particular, his ideas are remarkably consonant with findings in modern evolutionary psychology. Furthermore, his elaboration of the role of habit in human decision-making and behaviour provides a grounding for an approach which escapes from the old dichotomy between methodological individualism and methodological collectivism. This paper will illustrate these ideas by using insights from modern economics and psychology.
Bibliographical references :
Geoffrey M. Hodgson & Thorbjørn Knudsen  "The complex evolution of a simple traffic convention: the functions and implications of habit", Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 54, 19-47
Geoffrey M. Hodgson  "The hidden persuaders: institutions and individuals in economic theory", Cambridge Journal of Economics, 27(2), 159-175
Geoffrey M. Hodgson  "Veblen and Darwinism", International Review of Sociology, 14(3), 343-361