The Atlas of Economic Complexity is an award-winning data visualization tool that allows people to explore global trade flows across markets, track these dynamics over time and discover new growth opportunities for every country.
"Why information grows" by Cesar Hidalgo and the atlas of economic complexity. César visits the RSA to present a new view of the relationship between the individual and collective knowledge, linking information theory, economics and biology...
How countries achieve long-term GDP growth is up there with the most important topics in economics. As Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas put it “the consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.” Ricardo Hausmann et al take a refreshing approach to this question in their Atlas of Economic Complexity. They argue a country’s growth depends on the complexity of its economy: it must have a diverse economy which produces a wide variety of products, including ones that cannot be produced much elsewhere. The Atlas goes into detail on exactly what complexity means, how it fits the data, and what this implies for development. Below I will offer a summary of their arguments, including some cool data visualisations.
Complexity economics focuses on interactions and interdependencies between individuals and structures in economic systems. Those are systems of organised complexity. High importance is given to the analysis of networks.
As seen with the United Nations significant promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the past few years, the issue of global development is of growing concern to many international organizations. As humanity continues to become more interconnected through globalization, the inequalities and injustices experienced by inhabitants of impacted countries becomes increasingly clear. While this issue can be observed in the papers of different types (e.g., different schools of thought) of economists throughout the world, the work of behavioral and complexity economists offer a unique, collaborative perspective on how to frame decisions for individuals in a way that can positively reverberate throughout society and throughout time.
From the two premises that (1) economies are complex systems and (2) the accumulation of knowledge about reality is desirable, I derive the conclusion that pluralism with regard to economic research programs is a more viable position to hold than monism. To substantiate this claim an epistemological framework of how scholars study their objects of inquiry and relate their models to reality is discussed. Furthermore, it is argued that given the current institutions of our scientific system, economics self-organizes towards a state of scientific unity. Since such a state is epistemologically inferior to a state of plurality, critical intervention is desirable.
Critique of neoclassical economics is presented and contrasted with the more realistic assumptions made by an complex adaptive systems and evolutionary approach.
By conducting a discourse analysis (SKAD) in the field of academic economics textbooks, this paper aims at reconstructing frames and identity options offered to undergraduate students relating to the questions ‘Why study economics?’ and ‘Who do I become by studying economics?’. The analysis showed three major frames and respective identity offerings, all of which are contextualized theoretically, with prominent reference to the Foucauldian reflection of the science of Political Economy. Surprisingly, none of them encourages the student to think critically, as could have been expected in a pedagogical context. Taken together, economics textbooks appear as a “total structure of actions brought to bear upon possible action” (Foucault), therefore, as a genuine example of Foucauldian power structures.
Complexity economics and institutional economics are complementary approaches to studying the economy. They can pool their methods and foundational theories to explain the mechanisms that underlie economies.
In a span of around 12 weeks, the course covers a wide range of topics including agent-based modeling, networks, dynamic, chaos, information, fractals, cooperation models and scaling in biology and society. The course acts as a perfect beginner level introduction spanning a wide range of topics in the field of complexity.
This lecture is all about the challenge to include heterodox approaches into macroeconomics. After giving an overview of recent approaches to that problem Professor Michael Roos presents the theoretical framework of Complexity Economics as a means to combine behavioral aspects with macroeconomics.
Institutional economics focuses on the role of social institutions in terms of laws or contracts, but also those of social norms and patterns of human behaviour that are connected to the social organisation of production, distribution and consumption in the economy.
This paper provides a logical framework for complexity economics Complexity economics builds from the proposition that the economy is not necessarily in equilibrium economic agents firms consumers investors constantly change their actions and strategies in response to the outcome they mutually create This further changes the outcome which requires them …
The usual background and distinctions between complexity and neoclassical economics are presented Neoclassical economics deals with perfectly rational representative agents this creates states of equilibrium On the other hand complexity economics relaxes these assumptions to deal with responsive agents in an uncertain dynamic environment this creates states of disequilibrium More …
A historical glimpse of how economists of the 19th century debated the usefulness of mathematics to economics
Post-Keynesians focus on the analysis of capitalist economies, perceived as highly productive, but unstable and conflictive systems. Economic activity is determined by effective demand, which is typically insufficient to generate full employment and full utilisation of capacity.
In this course you'll learn about the tools used by scientists to understand complex systems. The topics you'll learn about include dynamics, chaos, fractals, information theory, self-organization, agent-based modeling, and networks.
Dependency in Central and Eastern Europe - Self-reliance and the need to move beyond economic growth
In this essay, the author takes a critical perspective on the pursuit of growth as the solution for providing for environmental sustainability and economic stability in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Drawing from the framework of dependency theory and presenting brief insights into European core-periphery relations the author then argues for the implementation of an alternative strategy to development that is built around the concept of self-reliance.
The leading edges of economic thinking in the early 21st century are marked by a nascent pluralism - a positive valuing of difference and complexity - regarding the nature and evolution of human behaviour and economic organization. Economic Pluralism brings these pluralist sensibilities to the fore.
When Santa Fe Institute Scientists first started working on economics more than thirty years ago, many of their insights, approaches, and tools were considered beyond heterodox. These once-disparaged approaches included network economics, agents of limited rationality, and institutional evolution—all topics that are now increasingly considered mainstream.
In this blog article, Dirk Brockmann illustrates how strong heterogeneities, cluster-like structures and high variability in node connectivities can naturally emerge in growing networks.
This is a hands on four chapter course to learn how to better understand and act when faced with complex situations By the end of the course students will be able to take a story from the news describe what makes the situation complex and identify opportunities for effective action …
Can pluralism in economics be useful to tackle the fight against climate change? How can diversity in methods and ideas allow for a better understanding of the issue of the climate crisis? What solutions do different schools of thought offer to overcome the most pressing challenge of the 21st Century? Our Rethinker Henrika Meyer will give you some answers and give you a glimpse of the solutions pluralism offers to tackle the fight against climate change.
The article pursues the two related questions of how economists pretend to know and why they want to know at all. It is argued that both the economic form of knowledge and the motivation of knowing have undergone a fundamental change during the course of the 20th century. The knowledge of important contemporary economic textbooks has little in common with an objective, decidedly scientifically motivated knowledge. Rather, their contents and forms follow a productive end, aiming at the subjectivity of their readers.
The module is designed to first present some of the main schools of thought from a historical and methodological perspective. Each week we explore and critically assess the main tenants of each school of thought. In the second part of the module we link history of economic thought and methodology to a specific and contemporary economic question. The second part allows you to engage with current economic issues with an awareness of methodology and methodological differences and with some knowledge of the history of economics.
The objective of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development economics.
Neoclassical economics focuses on the allocation of scarce resources. Economic analysis is mainly concerned with determining the efficient allocation of resources in order to increase welfare.
Feminist economics focuses on the interdependencies of gender relations and the economy. Care work and the partly non-market mediated reproduction sphere are particularly emphasised by feminist economics.
The global financial crisis (GFC) led to increasing distrust in economic research and the economics profession, in the process of which the current state of economics and economic education in particular were heavily criticized. Against this background we conducted a study with undergraduate students of economics in order to capture their view of economic education.
Approaching the law of nature that determines all forms of economy. The bulk of economic theory addresses the economic process by setting out on a catalogue of aspects, seeking the laws in the aspects and hoping to get together a reliable view of the whole.
Since the Middle Ages, literature has portrayed the economic world in poetry, drama, stories and novels. The complexity of human realities highlights crucial aspects of the economy. The nexus linking characters to their economic environment is central in a new genre, the "economic novel", that puts forth economic choices and events to narrate social behavior, individual desires, and even non-economic decisions.