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

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  • Fontana Magda

    ()

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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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series CESMEP Working Papers with number 200908.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
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.
  2. Leigh TESFATSION, 1995. "How Economists Can Get Alife," Economic Report 37, Iowa State University Department of Economics.
  3. Fontana Magda, 2008. "The complexity approach to economics : a Paradigm shift," CESMEP Working Papers 200801, University of Turin.
  4. Hahn, Frank, 1991. "The Next Hundred Years," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(404), pages 47-50, January.
  5. Blume,L.E. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "The interactions-based approach to socioeconomic behavior," Working papers 1, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. D. Colander., 2009. "The Complexity Revolution and the Future of Economics," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
  7. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Walrasian Economics in Retrospect," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1411-1439.
  8. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
  9. W. Brian Arthur, 1994. "Inductive Reasoning, Bounded Rationality and the Bar Problem," Working Papers 94-03-014, Santa Fe Institute.
  10. Holland, John H & Miller, John H, 1991. "Artificial Adaptive Agents in Economic Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 365-371, May.
  11. Martin Shubik, 1996. "Time and Money," Working Papers 96-03-013, Santa Fe Institute.
  12. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1982. "Risk Perception in Psychology and Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(1), pages 1-9, January.
  13. Arthur, W Brian, 1994. "Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 406-411, May.
  14. David Dequech, 2007. "Neoclassical, mainstream, orthodox, and heterodox economics," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 279-302, December.
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