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The Epistemology of Simulation, Computation and Dynamics in Economics

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  • K.Vela Velupillai
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    Abstract

    Computation and Simulation have always played a role in economics – whether it be pure economic theory or any variant of applied, especially policy oriented, macro and micro economics or what has increasingly come to be called empirical economics. This is a tradition that can, without too much difficulty, be traced to the spirit and vision of the founding father of Political Economy --as Political Arithmetic -- by William Petty, whose finest exponent was, in my opinion, Richard Stone, in modern times a noble tradition whose living custodian is Lance Taylor. In this paper their spirit is the driving force, but it is given new theoretical foundations, mainly as a result of developments in the mathematics underpinnings of the tremendous developments in the potentials of computing, especially using digital technology. A running theme in this essay is the recognition --never neglected by Petty, Stone or Taylor --that, increasingly, the development of economic theory seems to go hand in hand with advances in the theory and practice of computing, which is, in turn, a catalyst for the move away from too much reliance on any kind of mathematics for the formalisation of economic entities that is inconsistent with the mathematical, philosophical and epistemological foundations of the digital computer.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit in its series ASSRU Discussion Papers with number 1218.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpas:1218

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    Keywords: Simulation; Computation; Computable; Analysis; Dynamics Proof; Algorithm;

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    1. Charles R. Plott & Jared Smith, 1999. "Instability of Equilibria in Experimental Markets: Upward-Sloping Demands, Externalities, and Fad-Like Incentives," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 405-426, January.
    2. Ragupathy Venkatachalam & Velupillai Kumaraswamy Vela, 2012. "Origins and Early Development of the Nonlinear Endogenous Mathematical Theory of the Business Cycle," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 45-80.
    3. Stefano Zambelli, 2010. "Flexible Accelerator Economic Systems as Coupled Oscillators," ASSRU Discussion Papers 1004, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit.
    4. Selda (Ying Fang) Kao & K. Vela Velupillai, 2011. "Behavioural Economics: Classical and Modern," ASSRU Discussion Papers 1126, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit.
    5. K. Vela Velupillai, 2006. "Variations on the Theme of Conning in Mathematical Economics," Working Papers 112, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 2006.
    6. Tesfatsion, Leigh, 2006. "Agent-Based Computational Economics: A Constructive Approach to Economic Theory," Staff General Research Papers 12514, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. K. Vela Velupillai, 2007. "A Computable Economist’s Perspective on Computational Complexity," Department of Economics Working Papers 0723, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    8. Kumaraswamy Velupillai, . "The Computable Approach to Economics," Working Papers _005, University of California at Los Angeles, Center for Computable Economics.
    9. Velupillai, K Vela, 1999. " Undecidability, Computation Universality and Minimality in Economic Dynamics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(5), pages 653-73, December.
    10. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Velupillai Kumaraswamy Vela, 2013. "Turing's Economics. A Birth Centennial Homage," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 13-32.

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