With its philosophical pedigree and its use especially among life scientists and science writers since the early 1990s, the term ‘emergence’ in economics is more evocative than precise, reflects influence from physics and biology, and is now associated with phenomena where economic structures evolve into qualitatively different forms. These exhibit properties that are emergent in that they apply at an aggregate level but lack individual analogues and therefore are not describable at the individual level. This article emphasizes applications that possess firm economic foundations, from the evolution of patterns in international trade to the establishment of a common currency.
KeywordsAggregation Autarky Class Cobb–Douglas functions Complementarities Congestion Division of labour Economic geography Elasticity of substitution Emergence Fiat money Financial market globalization First fundamental theorem of welfare economics Foreign aid Herding Innovation International currencies International currency International finance International trade Invisible hand Mill, J. S. Multiple equilibria Neighbours and neighbourhoods Poverty traps Power laws Residential segregation Specialization Spontaneous order Stochastic stability theory Tipping points Trade costs Urban agglomeration Urbanization
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