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Can neoclassical economics handle complexity? The fallacy of the oil spot dynamic

  • Fontana, Magda

This paper is essentially a rebuttal of the view that neoclassical economics can handle complexity. I have coined the locution 'oil spot dynamic' to denote the neoclassical ability to subsume each and every new perspective. The main part of the paper is devoted to showing why the oil spot dynamic cannot work with the complexity approach, which is seen as a coherent stand-alone research program that stems from the SFI Economics Program and manifests itself with different nuances. The fallacy of the oil spot dynamic is relevant in this period, in which economists are beginning to realize that the Neoclassical Samuelsonian Paradigm no longer represents the common language of their profession. The spread of the complexity approach and the dissolving notion of 'mainstream' are here interpreted as indicative of a changing economics. A short foray into the features of the process of change completes my arguments by showing that the shift from one paradigm to another has many interrelated dimensions, and that there may be rigidities internalizing changes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 76 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 584-596

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:76:y:2010:i:3:p:584-596
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Richard Holt & J. Barkley Rosser & David Colander, 2011. "The Complexity Era in Economics," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 357-369.
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