Association for Evolutionary Economics (AFEE)

Call for Papers & Panels


Annual Meeting, AFEE at ASSA, Chicago, Illinois, USA

January 6-8, 2017


The Vested Interests and the Common People:

Power, Policy and Institutions in the 21st Century


This year’s theme takes its cue from Veblen’s 1920 essay “The Vested Interests and the Common Man.” In it, he argues,


the ownership of property in large holdings now controls the nation’s industry, and therefore it controls the conditions of life for those who are or who wish to be engaged in industry; at the same time the same ownership of large wealth controls the markets and thereby controls the conditions of life for those who have to resort to the markets to sell or to buy (Thorstein, Veblen, The Vested Interests and the Common Man, 1920, pp. 159-160).


He goes on to refer to “massive interests that move obscurely in the background of the market” (175), while for the common man, “[a] pious regard for the received code of right and honest living holds him to a submissive quietism, a make-believe of self-help and fair dealings” (177).


It is clear that, in 2016, the global economy continues to face similar issues. The concentration of wealth and power in the last decade has reached levels not seen in almost a century, and the financialization of the economy and of politics seems to be limiting the ability of countervailing powers to reign in the excesses of the vested interests. Meanwhile, much of the population turns to escapism rather than working to confront the forces arrayed against them.


·        To what extent can effective policies and robust civil society institutions counter the power of the vested interests?

·        What are the main problems besieging, not only today’s common man, but also today’s work force in all of its diversity?

·        In short, what are the most profound problems facing the modern globalized economy and how can institutional economics contribute to resolving these problems?


Institutional economists have always excelled at engaging in a nuanced critique of the status quo, and in offering pragmatic strategies and polices to effect institutional change consistent with instrumental values. This call for papers invites those who are engaged in producing work in this vein, utilizing sophisticated institutionalist methods to address contemporary issues.


All proposals for papers and panels utilizing the methods represented by the Association For Evolutionary Economics will be given serious consideration. Preference will be given to those papers and panels that directly address this year’s theme.

Deadline for Submissions: April 15, 2016


Full Sessions

I will accept submissions for full sessions (4-5 papers plus discussants), using the procedure below. If I cannot accept the whole session “as is”, I may be able to place one or two papers on the program. I will also likely assign a 5th paper to a session with 4 papers. People proposing full sessions are encouraged to include at least one or two younger scholars among the papers.


There will be one or more joint sessions with other heterodox associations. Details will be announced once plans for those joint sessions have been finalized.


Important Dates and Details

The submission deadline is April 15, 2016. No late submissions will be considered. Authors will be informed whether their proposals have been accepted by the end of May 2016. Please remember that the constraints imposed by the Allied Social Science Association severely limit the number of sessions allocated to AFEE; AFEE deeply regrets the necessity to turn down many good proposals.


I encourage anyone whose paper or panel is turned down to submit their materials to the ICAPE conference, which will be held at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago the day before the ASSA meetings (January 5, 2017). Roosevelt is within walking distance of the conference hotels. See for details. While the ICAPE call for papers is still being finalized, the deadline for ICAPE submissions will be in late summer, well after people are informed of the status of their AFEE submission.


At least one of the authors (and preferably all authors) of any paper for an AFEE panel must be a member of AFEE by the submission deadline. For membership information, please, visit or contact [log in to unmask].


By submitting a paper or panel proposal it is understood that, should your proposal be accepted, you are making a commitment to attend the conference and go to as many sessions as possible. The number of AFEE’s sessions in the future will depend on how many people attend our sessions in Chicago. The ASSA monitors attendance at sessions and those associations with low attendance risk session cuts at future ASSA conferences.


Submission Procedures

Please follow the instructions below, as the AEA has specific requirements for Program Chairs when they are submitting sessions for the program and the AEA app for tablets and cell phones:


1.    Proposals for papers, panel discussions, and full sessions of multiple papers must be electronically submitted as a MS Word or RTF file to the Program Chair, Geoff Schneider, at [log in to unmask].

2.    Name your file attachment [Your Last Name] AFEE at ASSA Chicago 2017 submission. Also use this same name as the subject line of your email.

3.    The following information must be submitted in your MS Word or RTF file. If you are submitting a whole session, include the information for each paper and participant. Do not use any formatting (e.g. indents, borders, tables or rules, section breaks, numbering). Just follow this order for each paper:

Name of Author 1:

Professional Affiliation/Employer of Author 1:

Email of Author 1:


Name of Author 2 (if there is a co-author):

Professional Affiliation/Employer of Author 2:

Email of Author 2:


… Other Co-Authors and their information


Mailing address of Author 1 (corresponding author)


Title of proposed paper


JEL Codes for Paper (choose up to 3) [see]


Short Abstract (50 words maximum) for publication in AEA conference app


Long Abstract (250 words maximum) for Program Chair


Declare your willingness to serve as a session chair and/or discussant (please add fields or areas)


Conference Proceedings

Papers presented at the AFEE San Francisco meeting are eligible for publication in the June 2017 issue of the Journal of Economic Issues. To be considered for publication, the text of your paper cannot exceed 2,850 words, with no more than four pages (total) of double-spaced endnotes, references, tables, and figures. The deadline for submission to the JEI is December 16, 2016. JEI submission details will be provided to authors whose proposals are accepted for the conference. All criteria for the submission of papers, including deadlines, will be strictly enforced by the JEI editor, Christopher Brown. At least one of the authors of any paper must be a member of AFEE. Papers should be sent by email attachment to [log in to unmask].


I look forward to seeing your proposals.


Geoff Schneider (AFEE President-Elect and Program Chair)

Professor of Economics

Bucknell University

1 Dent Drive

Lewisburg, PA 17837

United States of America


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