Evolutionary models in economics: A survey of methods and building blocks

Karolina Safarzyńska, Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


This paper assesses methods and components of formal evolutionary-economic modelling. Methods are broadly classified into evolutionary game theory and selection dynamics, evolutionary computation and multi-agent models, each with relevant subcategories. The components or building blocks are organized into diversity, innovation, selection, bounded rationality, diffusion, path dependency and lock-in, coevolution, multilevel and group selection, and mechanisms of growth. The number of alternatives that has been proposed for each category is vast, making it difficult to comprehend the variety of assumptions and formalizations underlying existing evolutionary-economic models. Our survey aims to clarify for each model component the choice range, formal expressions, associated assumptions, and possible techniques for formalization. Our study is unique in that it provides more information about the formal details of specific model components and is considerably more inclusive than earlier reviews. © Springer-Verlag 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-373
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Agent based models
  • Diversity
  • Evolutionary computation
  • Evolutionary game theory
  • Growth mechanisms
  • Innovation
  • Multilevel evolution
  • Neo-Schumpeterian models
  • Selection dynamics


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolutionary models in economics: A survey of methods and building blocks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this