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The Santa Fe Perspective on Economics: emerging patterns in the science of complexity

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  • Fontana Magda

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Abstract

The complexity approach to economics largely originated from the «Santa Fe Perspective»: the view of a group of scientists working in the Economics Program (1988- 2004) at the Santa Fe Institute for the Study of Complex Systems (hereafter sfi).1 This paper tells the story of the Santa Fe Perspective, traces its relation with other ideas that emerged at sfi in this seminal period, and concludes with some reflections on the current state of complexity theory in economics. I divide the life of the Economics Program in three periods roughly corresponding to the three Workshops (1987, 1996, 2001) dedicated to The Economy as an Evolving Complex System. Each of them reflects a stage in the development of the Santa Fe Perspective, characterized by a particular constellation of attitudes, ideas and objectives: the weakly heterodox, the strongly heterodox and the synthesis periods. These labels reflect the prevailing orientation towards neoclassical economics which seems to be on the one hand, a core concern for the directors of the Economics Program, and, on the other hand, a central issue for the relevance of complexity to economic theory.
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  • Fontana Magda, 2009. "The Santa Fe Perspective on Economics: emerging patterns in the science of complexity," CESMEP Working Papers 200908, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:cesmep:200908
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    1. Magda Fontana, 2006. "Computer simulations, mathematics and economics," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 53(1), pages 96-123, March.
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    7. David Dequech, 2007. "Neoclassical, mainstream, orthodox, and heterodox economics," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(2), pages 279-302.
    8. Leigh TESFATSION, 1995. "How Economists Can Get Alife," Economic Report 37, Iowa State University Department of Economics.
    9. Fontana Magda, 2008. "The complexity approach to economics : a Paradigm shift," CESMEP Working Papers 200801, University of Turin.
    10. Hahn, Frank, 1991. "The Next Hundred Years," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(404), pages 47-50, January.
    11. Blume,L.E. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "The interactions-based approach to socioeconomic behavior," Working papers 1, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    12. repec:spr:lnecms:978-3-540-73879-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Walrasian Economics in Retrospect," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1411-1439.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mihályi, Péter, 2013. "Kornai János Anti-equilibriuma mint az evolúciós közgazdaságtan szellemi előfutára
      [János Kornai's Anti-Equilibrium as an intellectual forerunner of evolutionary economics]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 282-289.
    2. Magda Fontana, 2014. "Pluralism(s) in economics: lessons from complexity and innovation. A review paper," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 189-204, January.
    3. Fontana, Magda, 2010. "Can neoclassical economics handle complexity? The fallacy of the oil spot dynamic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 584-596, December.

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