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But all the signs are that the distribution of income and fertility at the Smithian equilibrium will be highly unequal. If so, we face a future polarized between advanced capitalist countries with high incomes, but aging and shrinking populations due to low fertility, and poorer, low productivity countries with young and growing populations due to high fertility. These sharp divisions will motivate trade in people, through the conventional paths of migration and the newer paths of adoption, surrogate parenting, and technological management of fertility.

This theory has remarkable implications. It suggests that the wage share in the long run is completely independent of the forces of capitalist thrift leading to accumulation and of labor force growth, being determined entirely by factors relating to the bias of technical change. In this sense it provides a sharp alternative to the neoclassical vision of distribution reflecting the social scarcities of inputs to production. While this theory has great explanatory power, it also raises important unresolved questions about the foundations of the theory of induced technical change.

The development of population genetics revealed its close relations to dynamical systems theory and began to force theoretical biologists to consider the abstract nature of evolution as a system. These intellectual efforts produced an explosion of particular models of complex, self-organizing systems, such as von Neumann’s cellular automaton, which made the distinctive properties of these non-equilibrium but organized systems vivid and inescapable. Biologists like Stuart Kauffman discovered deep structural similarities between self-organization in complex systems as diverse as the living cell, the ecology of species and the capitalist economy (see Mirowski, 2001).

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