Wilson, David S. and Alan Kirman (eds): Complexity and evolution: toward a new synthesis for economics
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During the last decades, economic modelling has been witnessing a paradigm shift in methodology, and the recent economic and financial crisis has strengthened this trend. In fact, despite its notable achievements, the standard approach based on the paradigm of the rational and representative agent (with unlimited computational ability and perfect information), fails to explain many important features of economic systems, and has been criticized on a number of grounds (see e.g. Simon 1984; Kirman 1992, 1993).
At the same time, a growing interest has emerged in alternative approaches which allow for factors such as bounded rationality and heterogeneity of agents, social interaction and learning in the presence of multiple and interacting individuals who operate on various spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore their behaviour is governed by adaptive evolutionary processes based on simple “rules of thumb” (or “heuristics”) and “trial and error” mechanisms, that may give rise to...
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