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The Complementary Relationship Between Institutional and Complexity Economics: The Example of Deep Mechanismic Explanations

Claudius Gräbner ()

Journal of Economic Issues, 2017, vol. 51, issue 2, 392-400

Abstract: Analyzing economic systems from an evolutionary-institutional or a complexity perspective are two complementary approaches to economic inquiry. I discuss three arguments in favor of this hypothesis: (i) eminent institutional economists have examined the economy as what today could be considered a complex system; (ii) complexity economists lack meta-theoretical foundations which could be provided by institutionalist theory; and (iii) institutional economists could benefit from using methods of complexity economics. In this context, I argue that scholars considering the economy to be complex should seek to explain it by discovering social mechanisms instead of focusing on prediction. In order to distinguish between alternative explanations, scholars should refer to the deepness of an explanation, rather than to Occam’s razor.

Date: 2017
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Working Paper: The complementary relationship between institutional and complexity economics: The example of deep mechanismic explanations (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1080/00213624.2017.1320915

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