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Are large complex economic systems unstable ?


  • Sitabhra Sinha


Although classical economic theory is based on the concept of stable equilibrium, real economic systems appear to be always out of equilibrium. Indeed, they share many of the dynamical features of other complex systems, e.g., ecological food-webs. We focus on the relation between increasing complexity of the economic network and its stability with respect to small perturbations in the dynamical variables associated with the constituent nodes. Inherent delays and multiple time-scales suggest that economic systems will be more likely to exhibit instabilities as their complexity is increased even though the speed at which transactions are conducted has increased many-fold through technological developments. Analogous to the birth of nonlinear dynamics from Poincare's work on the question of whether the solar system is stable, we suggest that similar theoretical developments may arise from efforts by econophysicists to understand the mechanisms by which instabilities arise in the economy.

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  • Sitabhra Sinha, 2010. "Are large complex economic systems unstable ?," Papers 1009.0972,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1009.0972

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erhan Bayraktar & Virginia Young, 2011. "Proving regularity of the minimal probability of ruin via a game of stopping and control," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 785-818, December.
    2. Ioannis Karatzas & (*), S. G. Kou, 1998. "Hedging American contingent claims with constrained portfolios," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 215-258.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakrabarti, Anindya S., 2015. "Stochastic Lotka-Volterra equations: A model of lagged diffusion of technology in an interconnected world," IIMA Working Papers WP2015-08-05, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    2. Fathin Faizah Said, 2017. "Global Banking on the Financial Network Modelling: Sectorial Analysis," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 49(2), pages 227-253, February.
    3. Chakrabarti, Anindya S., 2016. "Stochastic Lotka–Volterra equations: A model of lagged diffusion of technology in an interconnected world," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 442(C), pages 214-223.

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