The last two decades have witnessed the growing influence of complexity analyses on the physical, biological and social sciences. Economics has not remained indifferent to the power of nonlinear interactions to generate complex structures and an astonishing range of potential behaviours. Indeed, the possibility of explaining, in theoretical terms and by means of models, complex and sometimes erratic economic phenomena has sparked rapidly growing interest: the theoretical and analytical tools of complex systems analysis have been viewed by an increasing number of scholars as a promising route towards remedying important weaknesses in the traditional approach to the representation and understanding of economic facts.
Nowadays ‘complexity’ is a fashionable term that is used in a variety of meanings and contexts. However, it is not always clear what ‘complexity’ is and what are its implications for economic research. The book provides a detailed picture of the nature and the role of complexity economics in the current research scenario. It tells the story of the complexity approach to economics starting from its origins at the Santa Fe Institute, traces its evolution and diffusion in the field and covers its ontological and epistemological dimensions. The narrative is corroborated by statistical and econometric analyses.
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Magda Fontana is Assistant Professor of Public Finance at the University of Turin, Italy
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