Simple Rules for a Complex World: Is It So?
Epstein gave to one of his books a title that summarizes the main conclusion of some studies, in particular Hayek's, of emergent orders (also known as spontaneous orders) such as the law and the market: we need, says Epstein, simple rules to cope with a complex world. We offer a critical appraisal of that statement looking in particular to his analysis of liability rule and argue that a rule of negligence, albeit more complex than strict liability, fits better the dynamics of a complex order. We conclude that the nature of the process through which the rule emerges is more important than its simplicity. We close the paper with some general reflections on the challenges presented by new researches in adaptive complex orders.
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