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Formal Approaches to Socio-economic Analysis—Past and Perspectives

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  • Claudius Gräbner

Abstract

This paper is motivated by the observation that (1) socio-economic analysis uses significantly less formalisms than mainstream economics and (2) that there exist numerous situations in which socio-economics could benefit from a more formal analysis. This is particularly the case when institutions play an important role in the system to be investigated. Starting with a broad conception of formalism, this paper introduces and discusses five different formal approaches regarding their adequateness for socio-economic analysis: The Social Fabric Matrix Approach, the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework, System Dynamics, (Evolutionary) Game Theory and Agent Based Computational Modelling. Every formalism entails implicit ontological and epistemological tendencies that have to be reflected on if the formalism should contribute to a better understanding of the system under investigation. The above-mentioned formalisms are no exception. Therefore, this paper pays particular attention to these tendencies. In the end, antagonisms and possible convergences among the formalisms are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudius Gräbner, 2018. "Formal Approaches to Socio-economic Analysis—Past and Perspectives," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 32-63, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fosoec:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:32-63
    DOI: 10.1080/07360932.2015.1042491
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    1. Elsner, Wolfram & Heinrich, Torsten & Schwardt, Henning, 2014. "The Microeconomics of Complex Economies," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780124115859, December.
    2. Brais Alvarez-Pereira & Catherine S. E. Bale & Bernardo Alves Furtado & James E. Gentile & Claudius Gräbner & Heath Henderson & Francesca Lipari, 2015. "Social Institutions and Economic Inequality: Modeling the Onset of the Kuznets Curve," Discussion Papers 0204, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    3. Joshua M. Epstein & Robert L. Axtell, 1996. "Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550253, December.
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