System economics: Overcoming the pitfalls of forecasting models via a multidisciplinary approach
In areas from medicine to climate change to economics, we are faced with huge challenges and a need for accurate forecasts, yet our ability to predict the future has been found wanting. The basic problem is that complex systems such as the atmosphere or the economy can not be reduced to simple mathematical laws and modeled accordingly. The equations in numerical models are therefore only approximations to reality, and are often highly sensitive to external influences and small changes in parameterisation -- they can be made to fit past data, but are less good at prediction. Since decisions are usually based on our best models of the future, how can we proceed? This paper draws a comparison between two apparently different fields: biology and economics. In biology, drug development is a highly inefficient and expensive process, which in the past has relied heavily on trial and error. Institutions such as pharmaceutical companies and universities are now radically changing their approach and adopting techniques from the new field of systems biology to integrate information from disparate sources and improve the development process. A similar revolution is required in economics if models are to reflect the nature of human economic activity and provide useful tools for policy makers. We outline the main foundations for a theory of systems economics.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nicholas Barberis & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997.
"A Model of Investor Sentiment,"
NBER Working Papers
5926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
- E. Samanidou & E. Zschischang & D. Stauffer & T. Lux, 2007. "Agent-based Models of Financial Markets," Papers physics/0701140, arXiv.org.
- V. Plerou & P. Gopikrishnan & L. A. N. Amaral & M. Meyer & H. E. Stanley, 1999. "Scaling of the distribution of price fluctuations of individual companies," Papers cond-mat/9907161, arXiv.org.
- Andrew W. Lo & A. Craig MacKinlay, 1987.
"Stock Market Prices Do Not Follow Random Walks: Evidence From a Simple Specification Test,"
NBER Working Papers
2168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
- Timothy J. Kehoe, 2003.
"An Evaluation of the Performance of Applied General Equilibrium Models of the Impact of NAFTA,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
506439000000000525, David K. Levine.
- Timothy J. Kehoe, 2003. "An evaluation of the performance of applied general equilibrium models of the impact of NAFTA," Staff Report 320, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Parameswaran Gopikrishnan & Martin Meyer & Luis A Nunes Amaral & H Eugene Stanley, 1998. "Inverse Cubic Law for the Probability Distribution of Stock Price Variations," Papers cond-mat/9803374, arXiv.org, revised May 1998.
- Parameswaran Gopikrishnan & Vasiliki Plerou & Luis A. Nunes Amaral & Martin Meyer & H. Eugene Stanley, 1999. "Scaling of the distribution of fluctuations of financial market indices," Papers cond-mat/9905305, arXiv.org.
- P. Gopikrishnan & M. Meyer & L.A.N. Amaral & H.E. Stanley, 1998. "Inverse cubic law for the distribution of stock price variations," The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 139-140, July.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:25:y:2009:i:4:p:734-743. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.