The Wealth of Nations: Complexity Science for an Interdisciplinary Approach in Economics

Classic economic science is reaching the limits of its explanatory powers. Complexity science uses an increasingly larger set of different methods to analyze physical, biological, cultural, social, and economic factors, providing a broader understanding of the socio-economic dynamics involved in the development of nations worldwide. The use of tools developed in the natural sciences, such as thermodynamics, evolutionary biology, and analysis of complex systems, help us to integrate aspects, formerly reserved to the social sciences, with the natural sciences. This integration reveals details of the synergistic mechanisms that drive the evolution of societies. By doing so, we increase the available alternatives for economic analysis and provide ways to increase the efficiency of decision-making mechanisms in complex social contexts. This interdisciplinary analysis seeks to deepen our understanding of why chronic poverty is still common, and how the emergence of prosperous technological societies can be made possible. This understanding should increase the chances of achieving a sustainable, harmonious and prosperous future for humanity. The analysis evidences that complex fundamental economic problems require multidisciplinary approaches and rigorous application of the scientific method if we want to advance significantly our understanding of them. The analysis reveals viable routes for the generation of wealth and the reduction of poverty, but also reveals huge gaps in our knowledge about the dynamics of our societies and about the means to guide social development towards a better future for all.


The Wealth of Nations: Complexity Science for an Interdisciplinary Approach in Economics
Klaus Jaffe