Reconsidering the notions of process, order and stability in Veblen

Nuno Ornelas Martins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Tony Lawson has recently provided an original assessment of the notions of process, order and stability in the writings of Thorstein Veblen, in which he attributes to Veblen an ideational conception of order, while also arguing that Veblen changed his views on the causes of stability, which in earlier writings were attributed to institutions and the ceremonial aspects of life, and in later writings are to be found in human nature. In so doing, Lawson moves away from previous interpretations of Veblen, including Lawson's own in some respects, especially on the nature of institutions. Here I further extend Lawson's new interpretation of Veblen in some respects, while challenging some aspects of it. In particular, I discuss whether Veblen really changed his view on the causes of stability, while proposing a generalisation of the Veblenian dichotomy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1135
Number of pages21
JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Habit
  • Habituation
  • Instinct
  • Institution
  • Stability


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