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How complex is agricultural economics?

Allan Butler

No 236287, 90th Annual Conference, April 4-6, 2016, Warwick University, Coventry, UK from Agricultural Economics Society

Abstract: Recognition that an economy is complex is not new. Frederick von Hayek, for example, made explicit that markets are complex systems in the 1960s. Contemporary proponents of complexity, movement across the sciences including economics, argue that an economy is a complex system in which economic agents (whether consumers, banks, firms or farmers) continually adjust and react to market behaviour of others. A major claim by these 2 proponents is that economics is going through its most profound change in over a hundred years. A further claim is that the neoclassical era in economics, upon which many agricultural economics principles are grounded, is being replaced by the complexity era. Indeed, is there some evidence that concepts such as agent-based modelling path dependency, self-organisation and network analysis used by the complexity movement are making inroads into agricultural economics research? This paper through a survey of literature of leading agricultural economic journals and the online repository, AgEcon Search, seeks to understand the degree that concepts from the complexity movement are emerging in agricultural economics research. Are they merely an adjunct to standard economic modelling or does it represent a more profound change in the way of analysing an economy?

Keywords: Agricultural; and; Food; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22
Date: 2016-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-hme and nep-hpe
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.236287

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