One method of economic modelling that has become increasingly popular in academia, government and the private sector is Agent Based Models, or ABM. These simulate the actions and interactions of thousands or even millions of people to try to understand the economy – for this reason ABM was once described to me as being “like Sim City without the graphics”. One advantage of ABM is that it is flexible, since you can choose how many agents there are (an agent just means some kind of 'economic decision maker' like a firm, consumer, worker or government); how they behave (do they use complicated or simple rules to make decisions?); as well as the environment they act in, then just run the simulation and see what happens as they interact over time.
As opposed to the conventional over-simplified assumption of self-interested individuals, strong evidence points towards the presence of heterogeneous other-regarding preferences in agents. Incorporating social preferences – specifically, trust and reciprocity - and recognizing the non-constancy of these preferences across individuals can help models better represent the reality.
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.
Renowned scholars elaborate a critique on neoclassical economics and how it was unable to predict and even favoured the financial crisis. They refer to DSGE models, equilibrium theory and rational agents – a brief insight in the critique on neoclassic economics.
Based on a critique on econometric and DSGE models (in particular in the context of the financial crisis), Doyne Farmer presents his current research programme that aims at building an agent-based model of the financial and economic crisis. It models heterogeneous agents and from there simulates the economy, firstly for the housing market. The interview gives a short insight in the research programme.
Homo Economicus: Why are new year’s resolutions so difficult to maintain and economic models so bad at predicting our behaviour?
Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to follow through on new year’s resolutions, such as to exercise more or to start saving more money towards retirement? The agent that most traditional economic models are based on would not struggle to keep up these resolutions. These agents are referred to as homo economicus.
This book challenges the mainstream paradigm, based on the inter-temporal optimisation of welfare by individual agents. It introduces a methodology for studying how institutions create flows of income, expenditure and production together with stocks of assets and liabilities, thereby determining how whole economies evolve through time.
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
Get ready to change the way you think about economics.
Get ready to change the way you think about economics.
Nobel laureate Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans--predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth--and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.
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.
This text provides an easy to understand introduction to complexity economics for non-specialist audiences such as bachelor's students.
What’s inflation? Why is it relevant? And is there an agreed theory about its roots and causes, or is it a contentious concept? That’s what this text is all about: We define what inflation actually means before we delve into the theoretical debate with an interdisciplinary and pluralist approach: What gives rise to it, what factors might influence it, and, consequently, what might be done about it?
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.
This chapter discusses the role of gender in economic relations, processes, and outcomes. Gender differences in economic outcomes such as labor force participation and wages have received growing attention from economists in the last several decades – a positive and much needed development in economic thinking.
The Philosophy of Economics Foundational Text provides a systematic and well-structured overview over the field of philosophy of economics.
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.
This paper starts with an evaluation of three common arguments against pluralism in economics: (1) the claim that economics is already pluralist, (2) the argument that if there was the need for greater plurality, it would emerge on its own, and (3) the assertion that pluralism means ‘anything goes’ and is thus unscientific. Pluralist responses to all three arguments are summarized. The third argument is identified to relate to a greater challenge for pluralism: an epistemological trade-off between diversity and consensus that suggests moving from a discussion about ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ towards a discussion about the adequate degree of plurality. We instantiate the trade-off by showing how it originates from two main challenges: the need to derive adequate quality criteria for a pluralist economics, and the necessity to propose strategies that ensure the communication across different research programs. The paper concludes with some strategies to meet these challenges.
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 …
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.
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.
In the pluralist showcase series by Rethinking Economics, Cahal Moran explores non-mainstream ideas in economics and how they are useful for explaining, understanding and predicting things in economics.
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 …
Aim of this intensive workshop is to understand macroeconomic workings of climate change as as the background of sustainable finance; to analyse financial assets with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria attached to them and their markets and important institutional players; to develop a critical perspective on the current setup of sustainable finance; and to synthesise this knowledge by applying it on in-depth case studies.
Popularized by movies such as A Beautiful Mind game theory is the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational and irrational agents Over four weeks of lectures this advanced course considers how to design interactions between agents in order to achieve good social outcomes Three main topics are covered social …
A review of:  Intermediate Microeconomics, H.R. Varian  Mikrooekonomie, R.S. Pindyck, D.L. Rubinfeld  Grundzuege der mikrooekonomischen Theorie, J. Schumann, U. Meyer, W. Stroebele
In this essay the author elaborates on the EU's perspective on the fast growing sector of the platform economy.
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.
Steve Keen analyses how mainstream economics fails when confronted with the covid-19-pandemic. Mainstream economics has propagated the dismantling of the state and the globalization of production - both of which make the crisis now so devastating. More fundamentally, mainstream economics deals with market systems, when what is needed to limit the virus’s spread is a command system.
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
If there’s one method economists have neglected the most, it’s qualitative research. Whereas economists favour mathematical models and statistics, qualitative research seeks to understand the world through intensive investigation of particular circumstances, which usually entails interviewing people directly about their experiences. While this may sound simple to quantitative types the style, purpose, context, and interpretation of an interview can vary widely. Because of this variety, I have written a longer post than usual on this topic rather than doing it a disservice. Having said that, examples of qualitative research in economics are sadly scant enough that it doesn’t warrant multiple posts. In this post I will introduce qualitative research in general with nods to several applications including the study of firm behaviour, race, Austrian economics, and health economics. More than usual I will utilise block quotes, which I feel is in the spirit of the topic.
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.
On July 2020 ZOE-Institute published a unique platform for transformative policymaking: Sustainable Prosperity. Building on insights from new economic thinking the platform provides knowledge about ideas, arguments and procedures that support effective promotion of political change. It aims to strengthen change makers in public policy institutions, who are working on an ambitious green and just transition. As such, it provides convincing arguments and policy ideas to overcome the reliance of economic policy on GDP growth
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.