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What can we learn from conceptualizing economies and social systems as complex and adaptive? The Santa Fe approach shows that this feature of real-world economic systems often implies significant non-linearities, heterogeneity and emergent phenomena that are not well-captured by standard models of equilibrium. Instead, SFI scholars have typically adopted a disequilibrium perspective that focuses on the interaction of social agents on multiple dimensions rather than the simplistic view of atomistic decision-makers who only interact by the price mechanism that orthodox economics has typically taken. The SFI tradition traces back to a long history of several decades of research, with its themes and methodologies like networks or institutional depdence becoming increasingly relevant also in more mainstream approaches. This volume explores several of those topics in an accessible manner and presented by leading experts in their field.
When network theory, disequilibria and phenomena of path dependence among others become increasingly relevant in mainstream economic circles, this is in part due to the constant groundbreaking effort and work of SFI and SFI-adjacent scholars. Complexity economics is, of course, interesting in its own right but can also serve as an interesting case study how pluralist approaches might find resonance within rather orthodox circles. This volume is definitely a great start to get to know these central tenets of complexity economics in recent decades, if only to get started and dig deeper into technically more advanced expositions.