Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought

Habits between Evolution and Institutions

Spagano Salvatore, University of Catania

This paper retraces the main meanings of the term ‘habit’ in the history of the evolutionary and institutional economic theories. Throughout the work, two fundamental characteristics of the habits are emphasized: i) the incompatibility of a customary and habitual behaviour with a strict compliance with the principle of rationality, and ii) the intrinsically relational quality of such a kind of behaviour. Finally, by the purpose of a suitable psychological framework, the review offers some suggestions to both simplify the definition of habit and so to promote advancements in the evolutionary economic theory.


Keywords: Habits, Institutions. Evolution