Complexity Theory and Evolutionary Economics

Robert D. Atkinson September 26, 2016
September 26, 2016

If there was any possible upside from the destruction stemming from the financial crisis and Great Recession it was that neoclassical economics’ intellectual hegemony began to be more seriously questioned, writes Rob Atkinson in OECD Insights. As such, the rising interest in complexity theory is a welcome development. Indeed, approaching economic policy from a complexity perspective promises significant improvements. However, this will only be the case if we avoid passivity grounded in the view that action is too risky given just how complex economic systems are. This would be a significant mistake for the risk of non-action in complex systems is often higher than the risk of action, especially if the latter is informed by a rigorous thinking grounded in robust argumentation.