An evolutionary theory of household consumption behavior

Richard R. Nelson, Davide Consoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evolutionary economics badly needs a behavioral theory of household consumption behavior, but to date only limited progress has been made on that front. Partly because Schumpeter's own writings were focused there, and partly because this has been the focus of most of the more recent empirical work on technological change, modern evolutionary economists have focused on the "supply side". However, because a significant portion of the innovation going on in capitalist countries has been in the form of new consumer goods and services, it should be obvious that dealing coherently with the Schumpeterian agenda requires a theory which treats in a realistic way how consumers respond to new goods and services. The purpose of this essay is to map out a broad alternative to the neoclassical theory of consumer behavior. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-687
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Economics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Demand and innovation
  • Evolutionary economics
  • Household consumption behaviour


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