Making Sense of Chaos: A Better Economics for a Better World

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Product Details
$35.00  $32.55
Yale University Press
Publish Date
6.5 X 9.64 X 1.07 inches | 1.58 pounds

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About the Author
J. Doyne Farmer is director of the complexity economics program at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, Baillie Gifford Professor of Complex Systems Science at the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He divides his time between Oxford, UK, and New York.
"Farmer convincingly argues that by using big data and today's more powerful computers, we can build more realistic models and simulations of the global economy. . . . [His] vision will undoubtedly be significant in how economics evolves."--Tej Parikh, Financial Times, "Best New Books on Economics"

"Both a manifesto for a revolution in economics and a memoir of an unusual career."--Ed Ballard, Wall Street Journal

"Farmer, a leading expert on complexity economics at Oxford University, [argues] we can and must be more radical. . . . With greater investment, he says, far more progress in understanding the economy could be made."--Martin Wolf, Financial Times, "Best summer books of 2024: Economics"

"Traditional economics makes ludicrous assumptions and poor predictions. . . . J. Doyne Farmer thinks we can do better. In his new book, he unpicks why standard economic approaches often fail--and presents a radical alternative."--New Scientist

"[A] thoughtful attempt to dig into the complexity of real world situations. . . . We found this book to be well written, self critical, and aiming to tackle something which, by its very nature, is extremely difficult to do really well."--Simon Cocking, Irish Tech News

A Behavioral Scientist selection, "Summer Book List 2024"

"This is the book I've been waiting for. It reinvents economics in terms of computerized agent-based modeling and complex adaptive systems theory developed over four decades. In many situations, 'complexity economics' is more predictive than classical economics and therefore provides a better basis for public policy. Doyne Farmer's life work with Santa Fe Institute is embodied here."--Stewart Brand, founder of the Long Now Foundation and editor of The Whole Earth Catalog

"After 2008, everybody except conventional economists seemed to realise that conventional economics is failing us. I applaud this bold and exciting new approach, born out of the 21st century rather than the 19th. It's about time!"--Brian Eno

"I can't think of a better person to help us make sense of chaos than one of the founders of the field of chaos theory, J. Doyne Farmer. A physicist by training, but with plenty of financial and economic street cred, Farmer takes on the formidable task of making complexity economics understandable, fascinating, and fun. And he succeeds!"--Andrew W. Lo, author of Adaptive Markets

"Standard economics has failed us when it comes to the challenge of climate change, and in this remarkable book Doyne Farmer explains why--and shows that a more complex understanding of how economies work yields insights that can help us see, and build, a workable future. Farmer's insights are more general, extending to all kinds of realms; indeed, it's exciting to sense the intellectual ground being broken here. But it's also of the highest practical importance; heeding his thoughtful counsel offers a path out of the box canyon where we're currently stuck as a species."--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

"Our greatest challenges, such as climate change, force us to move beyond linear thinking to grapple with their complexities. I gobbled [this book] up--I hope it gets into the hands (and heads) of those who want to understand our most pressing problems and work towards solving them."--Hannah Ritchie, author of Not the End of the World

"Doyne Farmer is the world's leading thinker on technological change. For decades he has focused on the question of how we can make sense of the data of today to see where the world is going tomorrow. This wonderful book applies these insights to economics, addressing the big global issues of environmental sustainability, and the well-being and prosperity of people around the world."--Max Roser, founder, Our World in Data

"In this riveting book, Doyne Farmer profoundly unravels the role played by complex systems in our economy. From the time he was living in a tent while working on climate models on the American west, to his more recent years in the hallowed halls of Oxford University, Farmer's lifelong journey is a testament to the creativity and perseverance needed to succeed in the rugged landscapes of multidisciplinary science."--César Hidalgo, author of Why Information Grows

"This book is a real achievement from which I learned a great deal. The economics profession should be much more open to Farmer-type complexity approaches. I hope this book is an inspiration to young scholars from many disciplines concerned with economic questions."--Lawrence Summers, former US Secretary of the Treasury

"Mainstream economics achieved an impressive level of mathematical rigor, but at the expense of grossly simplified assumptions and an exclusive focus on the equilibrium, making it ineffective in helping us solve real-world problems. Is 'predictive economics' even possible? In this remarkable book, Doyne Farmer, a co-founder of the modern science of chaos, shows that it is. He convincingly argues that we need to build realistic agent-based models, grounded in data, that will enable us to find effective ways to run our economy and navigate societal challenges. A must-read."--Peter Turchin, author of End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites, and the Path of Political Disintegration

"It can seem daunting to try to understand the globally connected, fast-moving, technology-driven, financialized economy of today, but there could be no better guide to this complex landscape than Doyne Farmer. This is a compelling book for anybody concerned about our economic future."--Dame Diane Coyle, author of Cogs and Monsters

"Doyne Farmer condenses a lifetime's worth of seminal contributions to chaos theory within this captivating book, and describes an ongoing paradigm shift within economics that can better address the problems facing our world by acknowledging and harnessing complexity. His genius is indisputable!"--Scott Page, author of The Model Thinker