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Capitalism as a Complex Evolving System

Author

Listed:
  • David Colander

    () (Middlebury College)

Abstract

Economies are often classified into polar divisions—socialist, capitalist, communist. That approach is not especially useful. Successful systems are by nature pragmatic, and they evolve into blended pragmatic systems that quickly move out of any pre-specified space. Accepting that all systems are pragmatic has significant implications for economic thinking; for example, it suggests that economist’s tendency to see the economy and government as separate and not co-evolving intertwined systems mischaracterizes the policy problems facing society. The paper briefly outlines the policy implications of seeing the economy as a complex evolving system, arguing an important policy goal of government is to set up an ecostructure that helps individuals achieve their ethically acceptable desires and goals for a life well lived. Theoretical debates about market vs. government do little to further that goal.

Suggested Citation

  • David Colander, 2014. "Capitalism as a Complex Evolving System," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 13-22, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:tek:journl:v:3:y:2014:i:1:p:13-22
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    File URL: http://ekonomitek.org/pdffile/no7_08_david_colander.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (II): Distribution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number mill1848-2.
    2. David Colander & Roland Kupers, 2014. "Complexity and the Art of Public Policy: Solving Society’s Problems from the Bottom Up," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10207.
    3. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
    4. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ercan Uygur, 2014. "Some Observations on the Global Economy and ICE-TEA 2014," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-12, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Complexity; economic systems; capitalism; socialism; government policy;

    JEL classification:

    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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