IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Reconsidering Communication Regarding Economic Phenomena. Some Hints from a Complexity Approach


  • Piercarlo Frigero

    () (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)


This paper, inspired by the notion of complexity and the use of network analysis, is presented as a short survey on communication in economics when it is addressed to people who approach the subject neither for study nor for professional purposes. Their perception of the economic system has also been shaped by events interpreted by opinion and political leaders. Its main contribution is an attempt to avoid current misunderstandings arising from a mechanical notion of the economic system and a consequent excess of confidence in what political economy can do in pursuing welfare. To do this, after a brief review of useful perceptions of phenomena both at system level and at firm level, we will propose some hints arising from complexity and network theory for an alternative viewpoint on political prescriptions and for a better appreciation of the entrepreneurial function. At the end, we will conclude with some teaching suggestions along with final remarks about understanding economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Piercarlo Frigero, 2017. "Reconsidering Communication Regarding Economic Phenomena. Some Hints from a Complexity Approach," Working papers 040, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
  • Handle: RePEc:tur:wpapnw:040

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marris, Robin, 1972. "Why Economics Needs a Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(325), pages 321-352, Supplemen.
    2. Meir Kohn, 2004. "Value and Exchange," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 24(3), pages 303-339, Fall.
    3. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
    4. Mário da Graça Moura & Nuno Martins, 2008. "On some criticisms of critical realism in economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 203-218, March.
    5. Magee, Gary B., 2005. "Rethinking invention: cognition and the economics of technological creativity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 29-48, May.
    6. Elcio M. Tachizawa & Chee Yew Wong, 2015. "The Performance of Green Supply Chain Management Governance Mechanisms: A Supply Network and Complexity Perspective," Journal of Supply Chain Management, Institute for Supply Management, vol. 51(3), pages 18-32, July.
    7. Buchanan, James M. & Vanberg, Viktor J., 1991. "The Market as a Creative Process," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 167-186, October.
    8. Timothy Sturgeon & Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Gary Gereffi, 2008. "Value chains, networks and clusters: reframing the global automotive industry," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 297-321, May.
    9. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
    10. repec:cto:journl:v:24:y:2004:i:3:p: is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Drakopoulos, Stavros A & Torrance, Thomas S, 1994. "Causality and Determinism in Economics," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 41(2), pages 176-193, May.
    12. Selda (Ying Fang) Kao & K. Vela Velupillai, 2011. "Behavioural Economics: Classical and Modern," ASSRU Discussion Papers 1126, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit.
    13. Alan Kirman, 2016. "Complexity and Economic Policy: A Paradigm Shift or a Change in Perspective? A Review Essay on David Colander and Roland Kupers's Complexity and the Art of Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 534-572, June.
    14. Evensky, Jerry, 2012. "Hes Presidential Address: What’S Wrong With Economics?," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-20, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Complexity Economics; Economic Education and Teaching of Economics; Political Economy; Theory of the Firm.;

    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other
    • P47 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Performance and Prospects
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tur:wpapnw:040. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Simone Pellegrino). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.