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December 31, 2014



Good post. I'd also like to see more from complexity economics, but my (limited) reading of this literature -- much like evolutionary economics -- is that while it provides a useful metaphor or narrative of economic processes, it is much less clear / distinctive when it comes to the policy implications. Moreover, given the reliance on simulation empirical testing is less straight-forward.

Barkley Rosser

As editor of the now more than a decade-old volume, I suggest people check on _Complexity in Economics, Vols. I-III, 2004, Edward Elgar, ed., by me. It is a collection of readings on the subject and covers all fields of econ.

Thornton Hall

Humans are bad at predicting the future. Any theory that contradicts this obvious and well demonstrated truth is probably wrong.


It is not taught at any of the top-100 US PhD programs that I am aware of. I don't know of any complexity paper published in the top-5 economics journals.
Most mainstream economists think of complexity as a heterodox soapbox. So the onus is on the complexity guys to change this by making substantive contributions--if they can....


If economics cannot give us a glimpse of the future then let's not waste any more time with it. I believe it does. ..Or I would have lost interest in it by now. There are numerous people who have been able to make good predictions based on a good understanding of conventional economics.

Nourial Rubini
Robert Shiller
My favourate Michael Pettis
Even Ben Bernanke can make reasonable predictions.

Martin Wolf. Non economist but better than most
There are lots more. What use is any kind of science that can not provide an informative Model? What's needed is more science and less ideology.

Deviation From The Mean

Economics never rises above meta theory, and more often than not never rises above a really superficial and cognitive bias.

Everything useful is abstracted out of the picture and everything mundane is included.

It is peculiar in that any understanding of things seem to have regressed rather than progressed over time. In this way it is quite a unique subject.


William Janeway

For a promising exercise in policy analysis based on a rich agent-based model, see G. Dosi et. al., "Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Complex Evolving Economies," at www.science.direct.com/science/article/pii/S016518891400311X


Go and read Dave Snowden's blog about complexity approaches.

The message is not that the future is inherently a closed book, but that it is not deterministic.

We can do things to improve our lot in the future, even if we can't predict the future in the ways we might all wish for.

Complexity science is not the dumb Hayekian learned helplessness that people like Paul Ormerod are always promoting.

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