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From Complexity Science to Complexity Economics

Abstract

The central idea of analytical science is that the whole equals the sum of its part. This reductionist view with certainty was challenged by computational uncertainty in classical mechanics and system approach in biology and thermodynamics. The interdisciplinary science of complex systems shed new lights on nonlinearity dynamics and non-equilibrium evolution. There are three lines of thinking in studying economic complexity. The first school focuses on computational uncertainty including deterministic chaos and dis-equilibrium statistical distributions. The Santa Fe school and econophysics consider economies as a fragile order at the edge of chaos. The second school developed system approach of self-organization and dissipative structure. Brussels-Austin-Shanghai school pioneered by Ilya Prigogine emphasizes the role of time arrow in living systems. Order out of chaos reveals a new kind of viable order, such as life cycle and economic resilience. The third school was more pluralistic and inclusive in economic thinking. Some essential features of psychology, behavior and culture could be modeled by advanced mathematics. Basic doctrines in neoclassical economics are inconsistent with basic laws in physics and biology. Complexity economics may accomplish the dream of Keynes. A general economic theory is capable of integrating special cases from diversified economic thoughts.

From Complexity Science to Complexity Economics

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