Complexity and the Economy
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Complexity and the Economy

Implications for Economic Policy

Edited by John Finch and Magali Orillard

The authors examine the causes and consequences of complexity among the broadly economic phenomena of firms, industries and socio-economic policy. The book makes a valuable contribution to the increasingly prominent subject of complexity, especially for those whose interests include evolutionary, behavioural, political and social approaches to understanding economics and economic phenomena.
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Chapter 3: Complexity Needs Strategy First Rather than Simplification: Why I am a Satisficing and Unrepentant Simonian

Jean-Louis Le Moigne


3. Complexity needs strategy first rather than simplification. Why I am a satisficing and unrepentant Simonian Jean-Louis Le Moigne Science seeks parsimony, not simplicity: searching for patterns in phenomena. (Simon 2001)1 INTRODUCTION We must now re-think the distinction between ‘fundamental search’ and ‘finalized search’. The different areas of knowledge cannot be developed ‘out of context’: they maintain a close relationship with know-how, means of production, places and multiple interests which contribute to shape them and direct their development which thus result from the crossing between various production logics and the appropriation of knowledge whose instrumental logics are part of. This observation was recently expressed by one of the big European research centres (the French CNRS2) and may be accepted generally by economists who are careful not to separate economic science, considered as fundamental, from political economy, considered as finalized or applied. The logic of the production and the appropriation of knowledge formed and transformed by one another are more and more interlaced. When they are not interlaced enough or as yet, everyone admits that this gap is regrettable and must be filled as soon as possible. In this chapter, I address the themes of ‘complexity and political economy: implications for economic science’ and of ‘complexity and economic science: implications for political economy.’ In economics as in other fields, the procedure of research is led intentionally and deliberately to insert the acceptance of its own paradigmatic or core questions on the grounds of action, and it follows the feedback effects...

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