Working Paper, NUPI

Recent Advances in Growth Theory. A Comparison of Neoclassical and Evolutionary Perspectives

Published: 23 Jun 2016

Research on economic growth has experienced remarkable progress the last decade. The neoclassical perspective has benefited from development of new mathematical methods and new approaches to market structure, economics of scale and spillover effects. At the same time evolutionary theories on economic development have appeared, partly competing but also complementary to neoclassical theorising. In this paper, the development of the two perspectives on economic growth is reviewed and they are compared with each other. Despite evident differences there seems to be convergence between the two traditions. The two perspectives therefore do not belong to different paradigms in the Kuhnian sense and they can hardly be categorised as two isolated research programmes in the sense of Imre Lakatos. Evolutionary and neoclassical growth economics draw inspiration from similar sources, they are overlapping and to some extent complementary. The two traditions also interact with each other.