Complex Systems and Economic Complexity


Working Group: Complexity Economics

Complex systems science has revolutionized scientific fields from evolutionary biology to statistical mechanics, and economics is no exception. Some of the most interesting insights across the sciences and the humanities in recent years have, in one way or another, used complexity thinking or methods to succeed. The complexity universe spans simulations, network analysis, complex adaptive systems, and analytical methods borrowed from physics and mathematics. Where neoclassical economics emphasizes optimisation, equilibrium, and efficiency, complexity economics stresses adaptation, emergent properties, and robustness. Macro outcomes hence are not the result of optimising individuals, but the result of interaction between individual agents.

This cross-sectional interdisciplinary thinking is embedded in the DNA of the complexity economics working group, which is why we welcome submissions from all fields of economics, as long as they share our understanding of the world as a complex dynamic system. For the complexity economics session at the Trento Festival of Economics, we call for the submission of academic papers which focus on or relate to the following:

1.     Models of complex economic systems 

2.     Agent-based modelling 

3.     Applications of economic, ecological, or social networks 

4.     Philosophy of complexity

For all above topics, theoretical and applied work is equally welcome. Empirical research is highly appreciated and so is theoretical and conceptual work, including analytical and philosophical work as well as simulations. Submissions from all subdivisions of economics or its neighbouring disciplines are adequate.

The major prerequisites for acceptance are completeness and relatedness to complexity economics as a topic.  That is, submitted work will most likely be considered if it is fully readable and does not lack substantial sections. Submitting only an abstract is possible, but developed papers is given preference. Preference will in general be given to PhD students over Postdocs and early career positions. Submissions from undergraduate and Master students are very welcome, but must take the form of a paper as well (including papers extracting the core insights of a thesis).

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