Tuesday 9 October 2012

How Many Economists Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

For a long while now I have tried to argue that all those political economic etc. theories we have inherited from the past are not adequate for telling us how we got where we are, or why we are there, or what is really going on and last of all what happens next?

In the web site Project Syndicate, one for economists of various stripes, a post today, 9th October, by Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng on “Micro, Macro, Meso and Meta Economics” comes round to that view.

It is not a long or difficult article but here is the extract of the end:

“Similarly, Eric Beinhocker, at the newly established Institute for New Economic Thinking, argues for “a new way of seeing and understanding the economic world.”

Such an approach requires incorporating psychology, anthropology, sociology, history, physics, biology, mathematics, computer science, and other disciplines that study complex adaptive systems.

We believe that the framework of “micro-macro-meso-meta-economics” – what we call “systemnomics” – is a more complete way to analyze human economies, understood as complex living systems evolving within dynamically changing complex natural systems.

This is a particularly useful framework for analyzing the evolution of ancient but re-emerging economies such as China and India, which are large enough to have a profound impact on other economies and on our natural environment.”

The full article is here:

Photograph by Rocco DiDonato.

Well, one thing is for sure, it ain’t going be any easier.


  1. "The contemporary obsession with reductionist and mechanical models seems to have driven the profession from theory toward ideology, putting it out of touch with the real economy."

    I don't think the problem is necessarily solvable because powerful people will, in an uncertain world, simply look after themselves and their own kind.

    They will resort to force, fraud or whatever delivers the goods. As always.

  2. For sure the end result will be a dictatorship.
    People tend to find this comforting for a while.
    Whereas democracy seems so unpopular it needs new leaders very often.