European Economics at a Crossroads

European Economics at a Crossroads

J. Barkley Rosser Jr, Richard P.F. Holt and David Colander

As Europe moves toward an integrated academic system, European economics is changing. This book discusses that change, along with the changes that are happening simultaneously within the economic profession. The authors argue that modern economics can no longer usefully be described as ‘neoclassical’, but is much better described as complexity economics. The complexity approach embraces rather than assumes away the complexities of social interaction.

Chapter 5: Cars Hommes

J. Barkley Rosser Jr, Richard P.F. Holt and David Colander

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of education, methodology of economics, education, economics of education


This interview took place on 16 May, 2008, in Harrisonburg, Virginia Your major thesis advisor was Helena Nusse, who is a mathematician. Was your PhD actually in mathematics or economics? I came out of mathematics. I did a master’s degree in mathematics and after that I did alternative service in the Netherlands. Instead of going into the army I taught at the University of Groningen for a year and a half in their economics program. I taught mathematics to economics students. It was there that I met Helena Nusse. She needed a research assistant. This provided me with an opportunity to work with her on a PhD in chaotic dynamics applications in economics (Hommes, 1991). She was my main thesis advisor. Mathematician Floris Takens and the mathematical economist Ad Pikkemaat were my secondary advisors. But from the start I was mainly interested in economic applications and less so in developing mathematical theory. You published several papers with her? Yes, we did a variety of things that came out of my assistantship. Some of the papers came out of work she was already doing and some came out of issues I developed in my dissertation (Hommes and Nusse, 1989; 1990; 1991; Hommes et al., 1995). My research assistantship was in 1987. At that time a personal computer was not easily available to PhD students. In my department you had to make an appointment, like on 82 Cars Hommes 83 Wednesday afternoon, to use the department’s computer for a few hours. So...

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