The Impossibility of an Effective Theory of Policy in a Complex Economy

  • K. Vela Velupillai
Part of the New Economic Windows book series (NEW)


There is one main theme and correspondingly one formal result in this paper. On the basis of a general characterization of what is formally meant by a ‘complex economy’, underpinned by imaginative suggestions to this end in Foley (2003) and in Brock and Colander (2000; henceforth BC), it will be shown that an effective 1 theory of economic policy is impossible for such an economy. There is, in addition, also a half-baked conjecture; it will be suggested, seemingly paradoxically, that a ‘complex economy’ can be formally based on the foundations of orthodox general equilibrium theory and, hence, a similar impossibility result is valid in this case, too.


Turing Machine Effective Theory Complexity Vision Recursion Theory Universal Computation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Vela Velupillai
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.National University of IrelandIreland
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of TrentoTrento

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