Regular Article

The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 214, Issue 1, pp 295-324

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

A complex systems approach to constructing better models for managing financial markets and the economy

  • J. Doyne FarmerAffiliated withSanta Fe Institute
  • , M. GallegatiAffiliated withDiSES, Universit Politecnica delle Marche
  • , C. HommesAffiliated withCeNDEF, University of Amsterdam
  • , A. KirmanAffiliated withGREQAM, Aix Marseille Université, EHESS
  • , P. OrmerodAffiliated withGREQAM, Volterra PartnersUniversity of Durham
  • , S. CincottiAffiliated withDIME-DOGE.I, University of Genoa
  • , A. SanchezAffiliated withGISC, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • , D. HelbingAffiliated withETH


We outline a vision for an ambitious program to understand the economy and financial markets as a complex evolving system of coupled networks of interacting agents. This is a completely different vision from that currently used in most economic models. This view implies new challenges and opportunities for policy and managing economic crises. The dynamics of such models inherently involve sudden and sometimes dramatic changes of state. Further, the tools and approaches we use emphasize the analysis of crises rather than of calm periods. In this they respond directly to the calls of Governors Bernanke and Trichet for new approaches to macroeconomic modelling.

Graphical abstract