Friday, September 27, 2013

Evolutionary economics is due for a reboot

Jupiter's red spot is a transient thing. One day the storm will dissipate -- though probably not in our lifetimes.

Life is a transient thing; a deviation from general entropy flows. One day life will go away.

NFL subsidies are a kind of emergent trap, one day they will go away.

Our universe, lives and economies are rife with transient exceptions. In the long run they go away, but we don't live in the long run. In our time frames the exceptions are the rules.

These exceptions don't appear in micro-economics, macro-economics, or even behavioral economics. Macro tells us average temperature, it doesn't describe the tornado bearing down on our house. 

So we need something radically new. Something like evo-Econ or eco-Econ or Canopy Economics; a discipline that focuses on self-organizing emergent phenomena, that recognizes that natural selection is inevitable in a complex adaptive system.

Did I put enough buzz words in there? Because I'm not dumb enough to think these are new ideas. Ecological economics is the application of economics to ecological topics, so not what I'm thinking of, but Thorsten Veblen coined the term Evolutionary Economics in 1898. Judging from the wikipedia article Evo-Econ has veered off in several different directions over the past 110 or so years -- but sometimes it tracks closely to what I'm describing here.

It's due for a renaissance today.

1 comment:

chrismealy said...

You've seen Robert H Frank's latest, right?