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Turbulence in Economics

An Evolutionary Appraisal of Cycles and Complexity in Historical Processes

By (author) Francisco Louca
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Published: 7th Aug 1997
Dimensions: w 234mm h 156mm d 20mm
Weight: 308g
ISBN-10: 1858985633
ISBN-13: 9781858985633
Barcode No: 9781858985633
Turbulence in Economics presents the economy as an evolutionary process, economics as a realistic science and reintroduces history as fundamental to understanding economic processes. It examines cycles and fluctuations in economic history from the point of view of turbulence in the physical sciences, (specifically hydrodynamics), and argues that an evolutionary approach is required for a better understanding of historical economic processes. Economic time is marked by a succession of long periods of economic expansion and depression, separated by deep structural changes. These periods represent distinct forms of organization of social relations, science and technology, cultural trends and political and social institutions. This is accepted by historians but rejected in orthodox economics. In this book the author challenges this and argues that the divorce between economics and history limits the ability of economics to explain reality. Within this inquiry into the crisis of orthodox economics the author considers Keynes's, Mitchell's and Schumpeter's critiques of neoclassical economics. The author then compares these to the contributions of Frisch and Wicksell, and examines recent studies of chaos, nonlinear and complex dynamics to explain the historical development of modern economics. This book will be welcomed by economic historians, historians of economic thought, institutional and evolutionary economists and those interested in chaos, complexity and modern methodology.

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`Louca's book is a brilliant and convincing demonstration of the importance of deliberate and conscious attention to epistemology. . . This is an invaluable book for all those who wish to learn from the legacy of both Schumpeter and Keynes.' -- Christopher Freeman, Research Policy `It is difficult to summarize in a short space the extreme richness of this book, which involves arguments taken from physics, philosophy, history of science and epistemology, as well as economic thought and recent developments in econometrics. . . . Louca's book makes for extremely interesting `This book will be a landmark in the history of economic thought. It is an extremely powerful and original critique of mainstream econometrics, based on a thorough knowledge of its historical origins and its contemporary applications. It will be essential reading for everyone involved in teaching or learning economic theory and model-building. The book also provides new insights into the work of Frisch, Keynes and Schumpeter. . . it is also a very important contribution to philosophy in the social sciences and in particular, to the development of evolutionary theory in economics. The rapid recent growth of interest in evolutionary theory means that the book will be of special interest to those concerned with these exciting new developments'. -- Christopher Freeman, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex, UK and Maastricht University, the Netherlands