Ulrich Witt
Professor of Economics
Past Director of the Evolutionary Economics Group,
Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena
  • Authored Books:
Rethinking Economic Evolution – Essays on Economic Change and its Theory, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2016, 264 pp., ISBN 978 1 84844 3044

In fourteen essays reprinting material from my publications over the past years and an introductory chapter “The Evolutionary Way of Thinking in Economics” I discuss several questions that are central to evolutionary economics. In the first part, four essays lay out a road map for evolutionary economics. In the second part, four essays discuss the role of novelty for evolution and evolutionary methodology in economics. This often neglected role is particularly important for understanding why innovativeness, rather than selection, is a central topic in evolutionary economics and why adaptation processes rarely attain stable equilibria in the economy. The third part contains six essays in which I show how evolutionary thinking can be put to work in explaining economic change in institutions, production, and consumption, and what it can contribute to understanding macroeconomic dynamics and the choice of a proper approach to policy making.

For a book review see Jack Vromen, Journal of Bioeconomics, Vol. 20(2), 2018, 257-260.

The Evolving Economy – Essays on the Evolutionary Approach to Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2003, 405 pp. (paperback edition 2006).

The Evolving Economy covers a broad spectrum of issues ranging from the biological foundations of economic behavior to the coevolution of firms, markets, and institutions. Ulrich Witt's individualistic approach synthesizes elements familiar from the writings of Veblen and Schumpeter on economic evolution. A conceptual debate on what the notion of evolution means in the economic context is as much emphasized as is the discussion of concrete hypotheses explaining why and how evolutionary economic change comes about.
Offering an outline of an alternative paradigm focusing on endogenous economic change, this book will be of great interest to economists and economic historians. Sociologists, philosophers and anthropologists will also find this work invaluable as it presents an encompassing assessment of the role of Darwinian thought for understanding human behavior and societal evolution.

Individualistische Grundlagen der evolutorischen Ökonomik (Individualistic Foundations of Evolutionary Economics), Tübingen: Mohr (Siebeck), 1987, 209 pp.

This book has had some impact on the emerging discussions on an evolutionary approach to economics among German language economists. There have been several reviews of which some appeared in English. K.-H.Paqué from the Weltwirtschaftsinstitut in Kiel, for instance, wrote in Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, Vol. 124, 1988, pp.381-2:

"This book .. aims at providing a coherent conceptual basis for the so-called evolutionary economics as an alternative to the neoclassical orthodoxy. To justify his focus on a new paradigm, the author sharply attacks neoclassical economics for its failure to address two major features of economic life: that many economic decisions by whatever agents are taken in the face of blatant uncertainty - not just risk - and that innovations in the broadest sense of the term - not just product and process innovations by firms - play a pervasive role as driving forces of economic development. Neoclassical economics typically accounts for these phenomena by simply squeezing them into the scope of static optimization over a set of (at best probabilistic) alternatives. In the author's view, such attempts are doomed to failure since the assumptions of the underlying mechanistic model miss fundamental aspects of human nature and behavior. ..... No doubt, this book provides quite a few insights into branches of science which economists usually ignore. In particular, it succeeds in bridging the gap between cognitive psychology and economics and thus helps to give the reader a more thorough understanding as to why, from a psychologist's standpoint, human behavior can hardly be narrowly described as the outcome of constrained optimization of whatever kind..."

Unfortunately, an English translation of the book, which had already been announced for a while on the basis of a contract signed with Cambridge University Press, faced serious delay and was eventually deliberately abandoned since, in the view of the author, an excitingly increasing research activity in evolutionary economics all over the world requested new responses and thus -- a new book to come.....

google books

SMS - A Program Package for Simulation and Gaming of Stochastic Market Processes and Learning Behavior, Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Vol. 202, Berlin: Springer, 1982, 266 pp. (co-author J. Perske).

The preface states the purpose of this research monograph as follows:

"The FORTRAN program package SMS, Stochastic market Simulation, is intended for inquiring into

  • the rather complicated dynamics of learning and adapting behavior in a complex imperfectly known stochastic market environment,
  • the price- and quantity-processes in a monopoly market, resulting from alternative patterns of monopolist's behavior,
  • the interfering effects which simultaneous, interacting learning and adapting behavior may have in monopolistic competition markets, where consumers search for acceptable offers.

Because of the complexity of the problems there seems to be no satisfactory way of exploring them analytically. This is not unusual in economics. Straight forward application of methods like experimental programming and Monte Carlo simulation, which we set out and document in detail here, however, seems to be rare. In our view this should be changed to broaden the understanding of the complex intertwining of systematic and random factors driving economic processes in a non-stationary environment. Therefore our purpose is not only to offer a program package for particular research tasks but also to demonstrate how a large simulation system can be constructed, handled, and integrated into microeconomic theory."

Marktprozesse - neoklassische vs. evolutorische Theorie der Preis- und Mengendynamik (Market Processes – neoclassical vs. evolutionary theories of price and quantity dynamics), Koenigstein: Athenaeum, 1980, 336 pp.

This monograph starts with a survey on dynamic theories of the market process, more specifically the movement of prices and quantities over time. Among the approaches discussed are tatonnement models, non-tatonnement models, and stochastic models with imperfect information. All these models focus on the convergence of prices and quantities to their equilibrium values in a general economic equilibrium. All these models are shown to require strong assumptions for proving convergence. Once these assumptions are relaxed, the time patterns of prices and quantities are contingent on the specific learning algorithms used by the market participants and the assumptions about their search motivation. The latter point highlights the controversy over optimizing vs. satisficing behavior, often also alluded to by the distinction between fully rational and boundedly ration behavior.
Simulation studies conducted to identify robust patterns in the price and quantity trajectories for a single market reveal that the notion of convergence to a unique point in the price-quantity orbit (that corresponds to a general equilibrium) must give way to the notion of trajectories bounded only to a price and quantity “corridor”. The bounds of the corridor are enforced by a viability condition leading to an evolutionary  characterization of the market process in which market entry and exit dynamics lead to an incessant, endogenous transformation of the markets.

  • Edited Books:
Understanding Economic Change - Advances in Evolutionary Economics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, 408pp. (jointly edited with Andreas Chai)

Understanding Economic Change - Advances in Evolutionary Economics
In this volume, experts in the field discuss the advances which evolutionary economics has made in exploring questions like these. The broad range of topics include a review of the development of the field. Its conceptual and methodological characteristics are outlined. Problems posed by macroeconomic evolution and the institutional challenges are highlighted. Last but not least, the implications of the evolution of the economy for well-being and sustainability are addressed. Taken together the contributions demonstrate the potential of an evolutionary paradigm for making sense of economic change and for assessing its consequences.

"As Ulrich Witt and Andreas Chai put it in their introduction, it is time for some stocktaking concerning progress in evolutionary economics. This excellent collection of essays performs that task admirably: a number of leading authors review developments in the field with erudition and careful criticism. This is a milestone volume."
University of Hertfordshire, Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Recent Developments in Evolutionary Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar 2008, 519 pp.

Evolutionary economics is a vital, expanding field of research focusing on the incessant transformation of the economy and its driving forces. Exploring the most recent research trends in the field, this volume presents a high quality set of papers indispensable to scholars and researchers interested in the evolutionary approach.
Highlighting a variety of pressing economic problems, explaining causes and arriving at innovative remedies, the broad coverage considers developments in: innovations, knowledge transfer, industrial dynamics, structural change, international competitiveness, evolutionary game theory, new applications of evolutionary thought in finance, economic geography and ecological economics.

Escaping Satiation. The Demand Side of Economic Growth, Berlin: Springer, 2001, 199 pp.

The volume focuses on the demand side phenomena of the soaring economic growth of the past few centuries. Growth theory has basically ignored the massive changes that occur here: the huge increase in the variety of products and services and the growing specialization in consumption behavior. The papers in the present volume argue, in contrast, that precisely these changes are crucial for understanding why ever more goods and services can be sold and, thus, economic growth can continue. The papers explore the historical and empirical developments in consumption and offer first theoretical orientations on this important, though neglected, topic.

Evolution in Markets and Institutions, Wuerzburg: Physica, 1993, 120 pp.

The volume comprises of a selection of papers presented during the three sessions of the European Economic Association conference 1991 in Cambridge organized by the author. The selected papers address a number of problem that are currently center stage in economic research. For these problems the implications of an evolutionary approach are outlined and contrasted with canonical approaches in economics.  Contributions include: U.Witt on “Evolutionary economics: some principles”, R.Boyer and A. Orléan on “How conventions evolve”, F.C.Englmann on “Innovation diffusion, employment and wage policy”, G.Hesse on “Land use systems and property rights: evolutionary vs. new institutional economics”, G.Laffond and J.Lesourne on “The genesis of expectations and sunspot equilibria”, and W.Weidlich and M.Braun on “The master equation approach to nonlinear economics”.

Evolutionary Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1993.

Twenty-five previously published papers have been selected for this reader designed for course work at the graduate level. The contributions focus on Schumpeterian themes including the creative response in economic history, the instability of capitalism, and business cycles; economic neaturla selection and firm and industry behavior; broader biological analogies; path-dependency and bifuraction aspects of nonlinear dynamics; knowledge, innovation, and competition; cultural evolutionary and spontaneous order; and economic growth and development in the long run.

Explaining Process and Change - Approaches to Evolutionary Economics, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992, 184pp.

R. Langlois, Public Choice 82, 189-190, 1995:

Like most collections of essays, this package is of uneven quality and often divergent focus. However, the average quality of papers in this collection is quite good, and some are outstanding. Ulrich Witt, one of the leading European exponents of evolutionary approaches to economics, has done a good job bringing together some interesting authors, most of whom are Germans little known in English-speaking circles. They and this collection deserve a wide audience.
   Witt's own introductory essay is well executed. He commits the obligatory editor's sin of portraying the collection as more focused and uniform in its themes and intentions than it really is, but the introduction nevertheless provides a nice overview not only of the volume but also of evolutionary themes in economics more generally. The book that follows is divided into three parts: formal theory; sociology and economic growth; and conceptual problems and policy implications.
   The "formal theory" section is a hodge-podge. The fist paper, by Werner Güth and Menahem Yaari, is a very nice example of the game-theoretic literature on the evolution of social institutions. The authors present a simple model that shows why human culture might evolve a preference for reciprocal behavior. Peter Weise follows with a chapter that attempts to tap into the sociological literature. In particular, the author wants to portray behavior as governed by a field of forces. Individual actions can be explained as attempts to minimize tension given such a field. (I wonder what Phil Mirowski would think of this?) Hans-Paul Schwefel, a computer scientist, offers a chapter that takes us in yet another direction. It is essentially a run-through of various quasi-evolutionary optimization or learning techniques, and it might be of interest to someone contemplating formal evolutionary modeling - so long as such a reader is willing and able to wade through some dense-packed prose.
   The middle section - on evolution and economic growth - is probably the best of the three, even though, to my taste, it bats only .667. The strike out is a paper by Joseph A. Weissmahr on "The Factors of Production of Evolutionary Economics." The chapter starts off as a critique of the classical factors of production, and makes some valid observations along the way. In the end, however, the author fails to see that the argument is valid against any approach that thinks in terms of aggregated and homogenized "factors" instead of looking in a disaggregated way at the evolution of economic behavior. Thus Weissmahr feels compelled to offer a "new" set of ultimate factors: knowledge, time, and energy flows. These are clearly important; and time and knowledge in particular are critical to evolution - too critical in fact to be homogenized into "factors." What is most odd about this paper is that it is not in the end evolutionary at all but physiocratic.
   The next chapter - by Günter Hesse - deals with some of the same themes (including solar energy!) in a much more sophisticated way. The thrust of the paper is to explain the evolution of industrial society in northern countries by the structure of the survival problem they faced (as against regions with warmer climates). There are still issues to be resolved, I think, but the hypothesis is fascinating. My main complaint is that the chapter paints itself as more sui generis than is warranted. E.L. Jones has talked about many of these same issues in the context of early economic growth, for example, and there is certainly a literature about the agricultural work-cycle and industrialization iu the context of the enclosure movement.
   The third chapter in this section, by Viktor Vanberg, is also first rate, as his work usually is. (Vanberg is perhaps the best known of these authors in English, since he now works in the United States.) The paper takes some very complex philosophy and makes it comprehensible. I especially like Vanberg's ability to make clever distinctions and break ideas into instructive categories. Like Hesse, he is interested in the sources of economic growth. Unlike Hesse, however, he stresses institutional structures rather than exogenous constraints, in a manner broadly consistent with the work of Douglass North. But the two chapters can be seen as complementary, in the sense that Hesse's argument applies to early societies in which resource constraints dominated cultural factors, whereas Vanberg's argument applies to later phases of development.
   The final section is a catch all. The chapter called "Information, Transaction, and Catallaxy," by Manfred Streit and Gerhard Wegner, is extremely interesting and makes a number of important points, even if the reader does not come away with a clear central message. The last chapter, by Alexander Gerybadze, is an attempt to classify industrial policies using some evolutionary ideas. Gerybadze singles out problems of institutional coordination as perhaps the most important role governments can play. Readers of this journal will likely fault him for too little attention to the rent-seeking possibilities of government action. Also, in stressing the role of governments in setting standards of coordination in a path-dependent world of "lock in" and "increasing returns," Gerybadze is following a trend in the justification of government intervention to which readers of this journal ought to be attentive. The touchstone for the presumption of government intervention was once simply public goods, externalities, or "natural monopoly." As those arguments became threadbare, attention shifted to "lemons models" and other more sophisticated stories. Nowadays, path-dependency arguments are beginning to gain preeminence. For the most part, as the late F.A. Hayek always emphasized, the normative implications of evolutionary thinking run to diversity, openness, and parallel paths rather than centralized administration. But the emphasis, in the work of Paul David and others, on path-dependent lock-in represents the other, and more interventionist, side of evolutionary thinking.

Studien zur evolutorischen Ökonomik II, Schriften des Vereins für Sozialpolitik, N.F. 195b, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1992.

Studien zur evolutorischen Ökonomik I, Schriften des Vereins für Sozialpolitik, N.F. 195a, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1990.

  • "Growth-induced Crises and Transitions in the Governance of Firm Organizations", Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 212, 2023, 1182-1191 (co-author Hagen Worch), doi: 10.1016/j.jebo.2023.07.001
  • "Innovative Capitalism Needs Institutional Co-Evolution", Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Markets, and Complexity 8, 131, 2022, doi: 10.3390/joitmc8030131 (open access).
  • "The Rise of the Service Economy in the Second Half of the 20th Century and Its Energetic Contingencies", Journal of Evolutionary Economics 30, 231-246, 2019 (coauthor: Christian Gross), doi: 10.1007/s00191-019-00649-4 (open access).
  • "Economics and the Promise of Evolutionary Studies", Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture 2.1, 41-45, 2018, doi: 10.26613/esic.2.1.71
  • "Capitalism as a Complex Adaptive System and Its Growth", Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market and Complexity 3, 2017, doi: 10.1186/s40852-017-0065-0 (open access).
  • "What Kind of Innovations Do We Need to Secure Our Future?", Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market and Complexity, 2, 1-14, 2016, doi: 10.1186/s40852-016-0043-y (open access).
  • "The Transformations of Utility Theory: A Behavioral Perspective", Journal of Bioeconomics, 18, 211- 228, 2016 doi: 10.1007/s10818-016-9235-6 (open access).
  • "The Future of Evolutionary Economics: Why the Modalities of Explanation Matter", Journal of Institutional Economics, Vol. 10, 645-664, 2014, doi: 10.1017/S1744137414000253.
  • "Economic Cosmology and the Evolutionary Challenge", Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 90 Suppl., S11-S20, 2013, DOI 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.009 (co-authors: John Gowdy, Denise Dollimore, David Sloan Wilson). doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.009
  • "‘Phylogenetic Footprints’ in Organizational Behavior", Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 90 Suppl., S33-S44, 2013 (co-author: Georg Schwesinger).  doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.011
  • "Competition as an Ambiguous Discovery Procedure: A Reappraisal of F.A.Hayek’s Epistemic Market Liberalism", Economics and Philosophy, Vol. 29, 121-138, 2013. doi:10.1017/S0266267113000102
  • "Disentangling Motivational and Experiential Aspects of ‘Utility’ – A Neuroeconomics Perspective", Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 36, 27-40, 2013 (co-author: Martin Binder). doi:10.1016/j.joep.2013.02.001
  • "A Critical Note on the Role of the Capability Approach for Sustainability Economics", Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 41, 721-725, 2012 (co-author Martin Binder). doi:10.1016/j.socec.2012.07.007
  • "Can Darwinism Be ‘Generalized’ and of What Use Would This Be?", Journal of Evolutionary Economics 21, 2011; 545-562 (co-authors Georgy S. Levit and Uwe Hossfeld). doi:10.1007/s00191-011-0235-3
  • "The Dynamics of Consumer Behavior and the Transition to Sustainable Consumption Patterns", Environmental Innovation and Societal Transition 1, No. 1, 2011,109-114. doi:10.1016/j.eist.2011.03.001
  • "Emergence and Functionality of Organizational Routines – an Individualistic Approach", Journal of Institutional Economics 7, No. 2, 2011, 157-174. doi:10.1017/S1744137410000226
  • "Symbolic Consumption and the Social Construction of Product Characteristics", Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 21, 2010, 17-25. doi:10.1016/j.strueco.2009.11.008
  • "How Firm Organizations Adapt to Secure a Sustained Knowledge Transfer", Economics of Innovation and New Technology 18, 2009, 647-661 (co-author Christian Zellner). doi:10.1080/10438590802564584
  • "Constitutional Interests in the Face of Innovations: How Much Do We Need to Know about Risk Preferences?", Constitutional Political Economy 19, 2008, 203 - 225 (co-author Christian Schubert). doi:10.1007/s10602-008-9044-6
  • "Output Dynamics, Flow Equilibria and Structural Change - A Prolegomenon to Evolutionary Macroeconomics", Journal of Evolutionary Economics 18, 2008, 249 - 260 (co-author Thomas Brenner). doi:10.1007/s00191-007-0078-0
  • "Observational Learning, Group Selection, and Societal Evolution", Journal of Institutional Economics 4, 2008, 1-24. doi:10.1017/S1744137407000823
  • "How Problems of Organizational Growth Affect Industry Entry and Exit", Revue de l’OFCE, June 2006, 47-62 (co-author Guido Buenstorf).
  • "‘Production' in Nature and Production in the Economy - Second Thoughts About Some Basic Economic Concepts", Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 16, 2005, 165-179. doi:10.1016/j.strueco.2003.11.001
  • "Network-induced Oscillatory Behavior in Material Flow Networks and Irregular Business Cycles", Physical Review E 70, 2004, 056118-1 - 6 (co-authors Dirk Helbing, Thomas Brenner, und Steffen Lämmer). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.70.056118
    Reprinted in: Actes INRETS, No. 104, 2006, 57-65.
  • "On the Proper Interpretation of ‘Evolution’ in Economics and its Implications for Production Theory", Journal of Economic Methodology, 11, 2004, 125-146. doi:10.1080/13501780410001694091
    Reprinted in: J.B. Davis, Recent Developments in Economic Methodology, Vol. II (The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics Series), Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2006, 500-521.
  • "Generic Features and the Continuity of Evolution -- A Transdisciplinary Perspective", Theoria 18, 2003, 273-288. doi:10.1387/theoria.429
  • "Economic Policy Making in Evolutionary Perspective", Journal of Evolutionary Economics 13, 2003, 77 - 94.
  • "Melioration Learning in Games with Constant and Frequency-Dependent Pay-offs", Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 50, 2003, 429-448 (co-author Thomas Brenner). doi:10.1016/S0167-2681(02)00034-3
  • "Market Opportunity and the Organizational Grind -- The Two Sides of Entrepreneurship", Advances in Austrian Economics (New York: JAI Press) 6, 2003, 131-151. doi:10.1016/S1529-2134(03)06009-5
  • "Games with Frequency-Dependent Stage Payoffs", International Journal of Game Theory 31, 2002, 609-620 (co-authors Reinoud Joosten and Thomas Brenner) doi:10.1007/s001820300143
  • "International Co-movements of Business Cycles in a ‘Phase Locking’ Model", Metroeconomica 53, 2002, 113-138 (co-authors Wolfgang Weidlich and Thomas Brenner). doi:10.1111/1467-999X.t01-1-00136
  • "Myopic Behavior and Cycles in Aggregate Output. A Note on the Role of Correlated Quantity Adjustments", Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik 222, 2002 366-376 (co-author Guan-Zhen Sun).
  • "Germany’s ‘Social Market Economy’ Between Social Ethos and Rent Seeking", The Independent Review VI, 2002, 365-375.
  • "The Nature of the Firm – Static versus Developmental Interpretations", Journal of Management and Governance 5, 2001, 331-351 (co-author Klaus Rathe).
  • "Between Appeasement and Belligerent Moralism – The Evolution of Moral Conduct in International Politics", Public Choice 106, 2001, 365-388.
  • "Learning to Consume - A Theory of Wants and the Growth of Demand", Journal of Evolutionary Economics 11, 2001, 23-36. doi:10.1007/PL00003851
    Russian translation in: W.I.Majewski (ed.), Rost potreblenija i Faktor Rasnoobrasija, 2007, 37-58.
  • "Changing Cognitive Frames – Changing Organizational Forms: An Entrepreneurial Theory of Organizational Development", Industrial and Corporate Change 9, 2000, 733-755. doi:10.1093/icc/9.4.733
  • "Bioeconomics as Economics from a Darwinian Perspective", Journal of Bioeconomics 1, No.1, 1999, 19-34.
    Reprinted in: G.Hodgson (ed.), Darwinism and Economics, (The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics Reference Series), Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2008.
  • "Do Entrepreneurs Need Firms? A Contribution to a Missing Chapter in Austrian Economics", Review of Austrian Economics 11, 1999, 99-109.
  • "Imagination and Leadership: the Neglected Dimension of an Evolutionary Theory of the Firm", Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 35, 1998, 161-177.
    Reprinted in: R.N.Langlois, T. Fu-Lai Yu, P.L. Robertson (eds.), Alternative Theories of the Firm, (The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics Series), Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2002.
    Reprinted in: S.Gloria-Palermo, P.Boettke, S.Boehm (eds.), Modern Austrian Economics, Vol. 3, London: Pickering &Chatto 2002.
    Reprinted in: M.Egidi, S.Rizello (eds.), Cognitive Economics, (The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics Reference Series), Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2004.
  • "Self-Organization and Economics - What is New?", Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 8, 1997, 489-507.
    Italian translation: "Auto-organizzazione in economia. Quali novità" in: E.Benedetti, M.Mistri, S.Solari (eds.), Teorie evolutive e transformazioni economiche, Milano: CEDAM, 1997, 67-88.
    Reprinted in: M.Egidi, S.Rizello (eds.), Cognitive Economics, (The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics Reference Series), Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2004.
  • "Lock-in’ vs. ‘Critical Masses’ -- Industrial Change Under Network Externalities", International Journal of Industrial Organization 15, 1997, 753-773.
  • "The Hayekian Puzzle: Spontaneous Order and the Business Cycle", Scottish Journal of Political Economy 44, 1997, 44-58.
    Reprinted in: B.Bouckaert, A. Godart-Van der Kroon (eds.), Hayek Revisited, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2000, 72-86.
  • "A Darwinian Revolution in Economics?", Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 152, 1996, 707-715.
  • "Innovations, Externalities, and the Problem of Economic Progress", Public Choice 89, 1996, 113-130.
  • "Wirtschaft als dissipatives System", Wirtschaftspolitische Blätter 42, 1995, 425-433.
  • "Endogenous Change - Causes and Contingencies", Advances in Austrian Economics (New York: JAI Press,)1, 1994, 105-117.
  • "L'Economie Evolutionniste - Les Contours d'un Nouveau Paradigme de Re­cherche", Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaine 3, 1992, 237-258.
  • "The Emergence of a Protective Agency and the Constitutional Dilemma", Constitutional Political Economy 3, 1992, 255-266.
  • "Evolutionary Concepts in Economics", Eastern Economic Journal 18, 1992, 405-419.
  • "The Endogenous Public Choice Theorist", Public Choice 73, 1992, 117-129.
  • "Economics, Sociobiology, and Behavioral Psychology on Preferences", Journal of Economic Psychology 12, 1991, 557-573.
    Reprinted in: G.Hodgson (ed.), Economics and Biology, The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1995.
  • "On the Emergence of Private Property Rights", Archives of Economic History I, 1991, 19-33.
    Reprinted in: S.Pejovich (ed.), The Economics of Property Rights, (The  International Library of Critical Writings in Economics Reference Series), Vol. I, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 379-393, 2001.
  • "Bemerkungen zu F.A. von Hayeks Theorie sozio­ökonomischer Evolution", Wirtschaftspolitische Blätter 36, 1989, 140-148.
  • "The Evolution of Economic Institutions as a Propagation Process", Public Choice 62, 1989, 155-172.
    Reprinted in: G.Hodgson (ed.), The Economics of Institutions, The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar 1994.
    Reprinted in: A. Marciano (ed.), Law and Economics - A Reader, New York: Routledge, 2009, 159-174.
  • "Wissen, Präferenzen und Kommunikation - eine ökonomische Theorie", Analyse und Kritik - Zeitschrift für Sozial­wissenschaften 11, 1989, 94-109.
  • "How Transaction Rights Are Shaped to Channel Innovativeness", Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 143, 1987, 180-195.
    Reprinted in: M.Ricketts (ed.), The Economics of Modern Business Enterprise, Vol. I, 303- 318, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 2008.
  • "Firms’ Market Behavior under Imperfect Information and Economic Natural Selection", Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 7, 1986, 265-290.
  • "How Can Complex Economic Behavior Be Investigated? The Example of the Ignorant Monopolist Revisited", Behavioral Science 31, 1986, 173-188.
  • "Evolution and Stability of Cooperation Without Enforceable Contracts", Kyklos 39, 1986, 245-266.
    Reprinted in: S.Gloria-Palermo, P.Boettke, S.Boehm (eds.), Modern Austrian Economics, London: Pickering&Chatto Publ. Ltd., 2002;
    Reprinted in: E.L.Khalil (ed.), Trust, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2003, 609-630.
  • "Coordination of Individual Economic Activities as an Evolving Process of Self-Organization", Économie Appliquée 38, 1985, 569-595.
    Reprinted in: P.J.Boettke, D.L.Prychitko (eds.), Market Process Theories, The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1997
  • "Economic Behavior and Biological Evolution - Some Remarks on the Sociobiology Debate", Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staats­wissenschaft (now: Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics) 141, 1985, 365-389.
  • "Einige Probleme und Ergebnisse einer dynamischen Theorie des Marktprozesses bei unvollständiger Information", Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften 102, 1982, 487-514.
  • "Die Forderung nach Realitätsnähe der Annahmen: Weder ein logischer Widerspruch noch ein über­flüssiger Diskussions­punkt", Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft (now: Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics) 137, 1981, 295-301 (Co-author Hans-Joachim Dahms).
  • Contributions to Reference Works:
  • "Austrian Economics and the Evolutionary Paradigm", in: P. Boettke, C. J. Coyne (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, 576-593 (co-author Naomi Beck).
  • "Knowledge and its Economic Characteristics – A Conceptual Clarification", in: R. Arena, A. Festré and N. Lazaric (eds.), Handbook of Knowledge and Economics, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2012, 369-382 (co-authors Tom Brökel and Thomas Brenner).
  • "Evolutionary Economics", The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition, S.N.Durlauf, L.E.Blume (eds.), Palgrave MacMillan, 2008.
  • "Evolutionary Economics and Psychology", in: A.Lewis (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Economic Behavior, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, 501-511.
  • "Selection, Learning and Schumpeterian Dynamics: A Conceptual Debate", in: H. Hanusch, A. Pyka (eds.), Elgar Companion to Neo-Schumpeterian Economics, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2007, 316-328 (co-author Christian Cordes).
  • "Evolutionary Economics: An Interpretative Survey", in: K.Dopfer (Hrsg.), Evolutionary Economics: Program and Scope, Boston: Kluwer, 2001, 45-88.
  • "Evolutionary Economics", in: P.J.Boettke (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1994, 541-548.
  • Contributions to Edited Volumes:
  • "Evolutionary Economics and the Theory of Cultural Evolution", in: A. du Crest et al. (eds.), Evolutionary Thinking Across Disciplines, Cham: Springer Nature (Synthese Library), 2023, 43-59. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-33358-3_3
  • "Ulrich Witt", in: A. Mearman, S. Berger, D. Guizzo (eds.), What Is Heterodox Economics? - Conversations with Leading Economists, New York: Routledge, 2019, 275 -285.
  • "Expansionskrisen des Kapitalismus: Klimawandel und Migrationsströme", in: K. Hirschbrunn, G. Kubon-Gilke, R. Sturn (eds.), Kapitalismus, Globalisierung, Demokratie, Jahrbuch Normative und Institutionelle Grundfragen der Ökonomik 16, 85-103, Marburg: Metropolis, 2017.
  • "Evolutionary Behavioral Economics", in: D.S. Wilson, A Kirman (eds.), Complexity and Evolution – Toward a New Synthesis in Economics, Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 2016, 113-144 (co-authors T.Burnham, S.Lea, A.Bell, H.Gintis, P.Glimcher, R.Kurzban, L.Lades, K.McCabe, P. Panchanathan, and M.Teschl)
  • "Eine evolutionäre Perspektive auf die europäische Einigung und die Euro-Krise", in: M. Held, G. Kubon-Gilke, R. Sturn (eds.), Unsere Institutionen in Zeiten der Krise, Jahrbuch Normative und Institutionelle Grundfragen der Ökonomik, Vol. 13, Marburg: Metropolis, 2014, 171-192.
  • "Verhaltensökonomische und Evolutorische Perspektiven auf Konsumenten-souveränität und Wohlfahrt", in: M.Held, G. Kubon-Gilke, R.Sturn (eds.), Grenzen der Konsumentensouveränität, Jahrbuch Normative und Institutionelle Grundfragen der Ökonomik, Vol. 12, Marburg: Metropolis, 2013, 251-273 (co-autor Christian Schubert).
  • "Ordnungsökonomik und ‘Soziale Marktwirtschaft’ in Bedrängnis", ORDO - Jahrbuch für Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Vol. 63, 2012, 159-178.
  • "Introduction: The Variety of Approaches to Evolutionary Economics", in: U.Witt (ed.), Recent Developments in Evolutionary Economics, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2008, xi - xxix.
  • "Heuristic Twists and Ontological Creeds: A Road Map for Evolutionary Economics", in: W. Elsner, H. Hanappi (eds.), Advances in Evolutionary Institutional Economics, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2008, 9 - 34.
  • "Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship: The Organizational Side of Technology Commercialization", in: F. Malerba, S. Brusoni (eds.), Perspectives on Innovation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 352-371 (co-author Ch. Zellner)
  • "Evolutionsökonomik – ein Überblick", in: P.Weise (ed.), Ökonomie und Gesellschaft, Jahrbuch 19, Marburg: Metropolis, 2006, 17-59.
  • "Wissensteilung, Spezialistentum und Interdisziplinarität. Anreiz- und Verständigungsprobleme am Beispiel des Themas Evolution", in: W.Brandes, T.Eger, M.Kraft (eds.), Wirtschaftswissenschaft zwischen Markt, Norm und Moral, Kassel: Kassel University Press, 2006, 17-33.
  • "The Evolutionary Perspective on Organizational Change and the Theory of the Firm", in: K.Dopfer (ed.), Principles of Evolutionary Economics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, 339-364.
    reprinted in John Child (ed.), The Evolution of Organizations, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, Chapter 26, 2012.
  • "On Novelty and Heterogeneity", in: T. Lux, S. Reitz, E. Samanidou (eds.), Non-linear Dynamics and Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, Berlin: Springer, 2005, 123-138.
  • "Evolution und Geschichte – die ungeliebten Bräute der Ökonomik", in: M. Lehmann-Waffenschmidt, A. Ebner, D. Fornahl (Hrg.), Institutioneller Wandel, Marktprozesse und dynamische Wirtschaftspolitik, Marburg: Metropolis, 2004, 31-51.
  • "Ist wirtschaftliche Evolution theoriefähig?"Hauptartikel in Erwägen-Wissen-Ethik, Streitforum für Erwägungskultur, Stuttgart: Lucius & Lucius, Jg. 15, 2004, 33-45.
    reprinted in: Bioskop, 4/2006, 38-40, and 2/2007, 15-26.
  • "Replik: Wirtschaftliche Evolution – Welcher Zugang?", Erwägen-Wissen-Ethik, Streitforum für Erwägungskultur, Stuttgart: Lucius & Lucius, Jg. 15, 2004, 130-143.
  • "Cognition, Entrepreneurial Conceptions and the Theory of the Firm", in: S.Rizello (ed.), Cognitive Developments in Economics, London: Routledge, 2003, 177-192.
  • "Evolutorische Finanzwissenschaft - worum geht es?", in: M.Lehmann-Waffenschmidt (ed.), Perspektiven des Wandels-Evolutorische Ökonomik in der Anwendung, Marburg: Metropolis, 2002, 457-464.
  • "Comment on G. Hodgson, “Institutional Economics and the Problem of Historical Specifity”", in: H.H.Nau, B. Schefold (eds.), The Historicity of Economics, Springer, 2002, 130-137.
  • "Soziale Marktwirtschaft – Zwischen Sozialvertragsgebot und ‚Rent-seeking’-Verdacht", in: B.Külp, V.Vanberg (Hrsg), Freiheit und wettbewerbliche Ordnung, Freiburg: Haufe, 2000, 179-197.
  • "Evolutionäre Ansätze in der Theorie der Unternehmung", in: T.Beschorner, R.Pfriem (Hrsg.), Evolutorische Ökonomik und Theorie der Unternehmung, Marburg: Metropolis, 2000, 153-167 (co-author Klaus Rathe)
  • "Self-Organization in the Economy and its Driving Forces", in: J. Thépot, M.Godet, F.Roublat, A.E. Saab (Hrsg.), Décision Prospective Auto-organisation. Mélanges en l‘honneur de Jacques Lesourne, Paris: Dunod, 2000, 455-467.
  • "Evolutionary Economics and Evolutionary Biology", in: P.Koslowski (ed.), Sociobiology and Bioeconomics, Berlin: Springer, 1999, 279-298
    Japanese translation in: Japan Association for Evolutionary Economics (ed.), What is Evolutionary Economics, Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 1998, 19-44;
    Italian translation in: Nuovo Economia e Storia, Vol.1, 1998, 9-25;
    reprinted as “Economics and Darwinism” in Y. Aruka, Japan Association for Evolutionary Economics (ed.), Evolutionary Controversies in Economics. Tokyo: Springer, 2001, 41-55.
  • "Multiple Equilibria, Critical Masses, and Institutional Change: The Coup d’État Problem", in: S.Bowles, M.Franzini, U.Pagano (eds.), The Politics and Economics of Power, London: Routledge, 1999, 286-299.
  • "Umweltökonomik – Wirtschaften mit oder in der Natur? Bemerkungen zu den Grundsatzbetrachtungen von Weimann und Manstetten/Faber", Jahrbuch Ökologische Ökonomik, Bd.1, Marburg: Metropolis Verlag 1999, 99-108.
  • "Markteingriffe - Eine prozeßorientierte Betrachtung", in: H.Schmid, T.Slembeck (Hrg.), Finanz- und Wirtschaftspolitik in Theorie und Praxis, (Festschrift für Alfred Meier) Bern: Haupt, 1997, 245-267.
  • "Warum sollten sich Ökonomen mit Selbstorganisation beschäftigen?", in: A. von Gleich, S.Leinkauf, S.Zundel (Hrg.), Surfen auf der Modernisierungs­welle - Ziele, Blockaden und Bedingungen ökologischer Innovation, Marburg: Metropolis, 1997, 47-70.
  • "Bounded Rationality, Social Learning, and Viable Moral Conduct in a Prisoner‘s Dilemma", in: M.Perlman, E.Helmstädter (eds.), Behavioral Norms, Technological Progress and Economic Dynamics, Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 1996, 33-49.
  • "Moral Norms and Rationality within Populations: An Evolutionary Theory", in: J.C.Pardo, F.Schneider (eds.), Current Issues in Public Choice, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1996, 237-256.
  • "Wirtschaft und Evolution", in: N. Berthold (Hrg.), Allgemeine Wirtschaftstheorie, München: Franz Vahlen, 1995, 385-410.
  • "Spontane Ordnung und das Konjunkturphänomen", in: H.-H. Francke (Hrg.), Ökonomischer Individualismus und freiheitliche Verfassung, Freiburg: Haufe-Verlag, 1995, 79-102.
  • "Moralität vs. Rationalität - über die Rolle von Innovation und Imitation in einem alten Dilemma", in: A.Wagner, H.-W. Lorenz (Hrg.), Studien zur Evolutorischen Ökonomik III, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1995, 11-33.
  • "The Theory of Societal Evolution: Hayek’s Unfinished Legacy", in: J.Birner, R.van Zijp (eds.), Hayek, Co-ordination and Evolution, London: Routledge, 178-189.
  • "Emergence and Dissemination of Innovations", in: R.H.Day, P.Chen (eds.), Nonlinear Dynamics and Evolutionary Economics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993, 91-100.
  • "What Evolutionary Economics Is All About", in: U.Witt (ed.), Evolutionary Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1993, xiii-xxvii.
  • "Multiple Gleichgewichte und kritische Massen - das Problem der Verfassungs­treue", Jahrbuch für Neue Politische Ökonomie, Band 14, 1993, 229-246.
  • "Wann kommt es eigentlich zu wirtschaftlichem Fortschritt", in: A.Wagner (Hrg.), Dezentrale Entscheidungsfindung bei externen Effekten, Tübingen: Francke, 1993, 19-35.
  • "Evolution as the Theme of a New Heterodoxy in Economics: An Introductory Essay", in: U.Witt (ed.), Explaining Process and Change - Approaches to Evolutionary Economics, Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 1992, 3-20.
  • "Turning Austrian Economics into an Evolutionary Theory", in: B.Caldwell, S.Boehm (eds.), Austrian Economics: Tensions and New Directions, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992, 215-236.    
    Reprinted under the titel "Schumpeter vs. Hayek: Two Approaches to Evolutionary Economics" in: G. Meijer (ed.), New Perspectives on Austrian Economics, London: Routledge, 1995, 81-101.
  • "Reflections on the Present State of Evolutionary Economic Theory", in: G.Hodgson, E.Screpanti (eds.), Rethinking Economics: Markets, Technology, and Economic Evolution, Aldershot: Edward Elgar Publ. 1991, 83-102.
  • "Subjectivism in Economics: A Suggested Reorientation", in: K.G.Grunert, F.Ölander (eds.), Understanding Economic Behavior, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publ., 1989, 409-431.
    French translation in: Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaine, Vol. 1, 1990, 41-60.
  • "Eine individualistische Theorie der Entwicklung ökonomischer Institutionen", Jahrbuch für Neue Politische Ökonomie, Bd. 9, 1988, 72-95.
  • "The Demsetz-Hypothesis on the Emergence of Property Rights Reconsidered", in: R.Pethig, U.Schlieper (eds.), Efficiency, Institutions, and Economic Policy, Berlin: Springer 1987, 81-93.
  • "Familienökonomik - einige nicht-neoklassische Aspekte", in: H.Todt (Hrg.), Die Familie als Gegenstand der sozialwissen­schaftlichen Forschung, Schriften des Vereins für Social­politik, N.F. 164, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot 1987, 63-84.