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A complexity perspective on institutional design

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  • Scott E. Page

    ()
    (University of Michigan, USA)

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    Abstract

    The task of designing effective economic and political institutions requires substantial foresight. The designer must anticipate not only the behavior of individual actors, but also how that behavior will aggregate. Rising complexity brought about by increases in speeds of adaptation, diversity, connectedness, and interdependence make institutional design all the more challenging. Given the focus on equilibria, the extant literature on mechanism design might appear incapable of coping with this complexity. Yet, I suggest that a deeper engagement with the origins of the mechanism-design framework reveals insights that may help us design robust, adaptive institutions that can harness complexity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by in its journal Politics, Philosophy & Economics.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 5-25

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:pophec:v:11:y:2012:i:1:p:5-25

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    Related research

    Keywords: mechanism design; complexity; robustness; learning;

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    1. Stolz, Stéphanie Marie & Wedow, Michael, 2010. "Extraordinary measures in extraordinary times – Public measures in support of the financial sector in the EU and the United States," Occasional Paper Series 117, European Central Bank.
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    6. Gerlach, Stefan & Schulz, Alexander & Wolff, Guntram B., 2010. "Banking and sovereign risk in the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2010,09, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
    8. Aviram Levy & Andrea Zaghini, 2010. "The pricing of government-guaranteed bank bonds," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 753, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    9. Ashoka Mody, 2009. "From Bear Stearns to Anglo Irish," IMF Working Papers 09/108, International Monetary Fund.
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