Why Were Biological Analogies in Economics “A Bad Thing”? Edith Penrose's Battles against Social Darwinism and McCarthyism

  title={Why Were Biological Analogies in Economics “A Bad Thing”? Edith Penrose's Battles against Social Darwinism and McCarthyism},
  author={Clement Levallois},
  journal={Science in Context},
  pages={465 - 485}
Argument The heuristic value of evolutionary biology for economics is still much under debate. We suggest that in addition to analytical considerations, socio-cultural values can well be at stake in this issue. To demonstrate it, we use a historical case and focus on the criticism of biological analogies in the theory of the firm formulated by economist Edith Penrose in postwar United States. We find that in addition to the analytical arguments developed in her paper, she perceived that… 

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