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Non-fixed-point attractors (equilibria) in popular economics? [Steve Keen]

August 31, 2015


Aussie economist Steve Keen continues to make a fuss about merging system-dynamics engineering-math concepts and dynamical-systems math-math concepts into macroecon, at the level of popular understanding that is necessary to communicate with the policy-making crowd. This time he critiques mainstream economists for focusing too much attention on fixed-point attractors, when in real world economic systems, one can observe limit cycles and maybe even strange attractors. He claims to have created a model which displays these phenomena.

My personal comment is this: there has existed for several decades not just one, but several rich languages for talking about stability and instability of systems. The two I’m a tiny bit familiar with are from the engineering disciplines, and from mathematics. I’m sure the more deeply academic economists are using this stuff, but it seems the policy-making folk are stuck in the dark ages. They’re missing out.


[Updated 2015.09.02, added paragraph with personal comment]


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