Here I will post some more or less interesting news about what I do, about conferences, publications, teaching, and anything else.

New working paper on measures of economic openness

Posted August 18

While working on a project that studies the socio-economic effects of the openness of economies, we figured out that there are a vast number of different measures for openness. Therefore, we wrote a review entitled Measuring Economic Openness: A review of existing measures and empirical practices in which we present, discuss and compare various measures for openness. We also provide for a taxonomy of such measures and show with a practical example that the choice of the measure is very important for the outcome of any quantitative analysis of economic openness.

New article on complexity and pluralism

Posted July 31 2018

My paper The Complexity of Economies and Pluralism in Economics has now been published in the Journal of Contextual Economics.

In the paper I argue that - for ontological and epistemological reasons - pluralism with regard to economic research programs is a more viable position to hold than monism. Also, I discuss channels through which power accumulation of research programs under the current institutions takes place, and that this accumulation process is self-reinforcing. Thus, without critical intervention, the scientific system self-organizes itself towards an (epistemologically inferior) state of unity.

For a non-barrier version of the paper see the accepted manuscript.

Launch of a video-based introduction ABM in Python

Posted July 19 2018

I have launched this video-based introduction to ABM in Python. It consists of scripts, and videos explaining hands-on the content of the scripts. The course is addressing people who want to learn agent-based modelling, but do not want to use a specialized platform such as Netlogo.

Thus, the course aims to teach people without previous experience in programming both the basics in the programming language Python, and the basics of agent-based modelling using Python.

For now, the videos are only available in German, but the scripts are available in English.

For any video block there is a feedback form, and I greatly value your feedback on this course.

This feedback will not only help me to improve the course in the future, but also build a good English version of the course.

I hope you find the information helpful and become as fascinated by programming and ABM as I do!

New presentation on theory development in economics and lessons for ABM scholars

Posted July 9 2018

I recently gave an invited talk on this great Symposium on theory development.

My presentation is about how economists construct theory, and what lessons we can learn from this process - in the positive as well as in the negative sense. The slides are available here (some pictures removed for potential copyright issues).

Who is interested in these kind of questions might also have a look at my new paper on model validation and verification in JASSS.

As always, any feedback is highly appreciated.

New paper on ABM and institutional analysis

Posted July 1 2018

My paper To Trust or to Control: Informal Value Transfer Systems and Computational Analysis in Institutional Economics has now been published in the Journal of Economic Issues.

The paper , which is joint work work with Wolfram Elsner and Alex Lascaux, introduces an agent-based model to study the role of trust and control for the functioning of informal money transfer systems such as Hawala.

We place in the application into a broader discussion on how agent-based models can be used for institutional analysis and how they can improve communication among different research programs.

New paper on the epistemology of model verification and model validation

Posted July 1 2018

How do we relate models with reality? What is meant by model verification and validation? When and why are these activities important? These are some of the questions that I explore in my paper How to Relate Models to Reality? An Epistemological Framework for the Validation and Verification of Computational Models , which has now been published (open access) in JASSS.

Not only deals the paper with some important epistemological questions underlying the use of computational models, it also serves as a non-technical introduction of epistemological concepts to non-philosophers and applied modellers.

New presentation on path dependent development in Europe

Posted April 15 2018

I recently gave an invited presentation at the conference Renewal of the European Economic Integration Concept , held at the University of Szeged, Hungary. The slides are available here .

The presentation is mainly based on the paper Structural change in times of increasing openness: assessing path dependency in European economic integration (see below).

New working paper on structural change and path dependent development in Europe

Posted February 16 2018

In the paper Structural change in times of increasing openness: assessing path dependency in European economic integration we study the impacts of increasing European integration. We estimate the reactions of countries to an increase in trade and financial openess and find that the effects on different countries are very heterogeneous. Based on this finding we propose a taxonomy of European economies that consists of core, periphery, financialized and catch-up countries. Studying the structural changes in these countries in more detail we suggest that development tractories in Europe are highly path dependent and relate to the sectoral development of European economies and the evolution of their technological capabilities. This has important implications for policy making.

Material on Summer Course on Computational Economics and Complexity

Posted October 25 2017

This summer I was happy to teach a one-week course on complexity economics and computational methods together with Torsten Heinrich from Oxford University. The Summer Academy is related to Exploring Economics, a wonderful pluralistic economics learning plattform. All the material is available here. Any feedback is, as always, highly welcome.

New working paper on European disintegration

Posted July 26 2017

In the paper Is Europe disintegrating? Macroeconomic divergence, structural polarization, trade and fragility we study the uneven development in Europe since 2000. The basic argument is that European countries follow two different growth trajectories, a debt-led trajectory in the periphery, and an export-led trajectory in the core. We trace the reasons to this to the different level of competitiveness of firms and the technological capabilities in the countries. Our conclusion is that European countries must implement three types of policies simultaneously: macroprudential financial regulation, industrial policy, and progressive redistribution.

The paper is available here and feedback is, as always, highly appreciated.

New working papers: One on informal economic exchange and one on the epistemology of model verification/validation

Posted June 15 2017

I recently finished two working papers: The deals with the functioning of informal economic exchange systems, in particular the value transfer system Hawala. It’s title is Trust and Social Control. Sources of cooperation, performance, and stability in informal value transfer systems. It uses computational experiments to settle an important ambiguity with regard to the stabilizing mechanisms in such systems: is it mainly social control of general trust that is at the core of the system’s stability?

The second is entitled How to relate models to reality? An epistemological framework for the validation and verification of computational models. and takes a more theoretical approach. It suggests an epistemological framework for the validation and verification of computational models. This way, it hopefully contributes to a better understanding and a better comparability of different simulation models.

Feedback on both of them is highly appreciated!

Public lecture on Complexity Economics in Bochum, Germany

Posted June 13 2017

Yesterday I was invited to give a public lecture on Complexity Economics at the Ruhr University in Bochum. The local student group for Pluralism in economics organizes this great even, and I feel proud to be among the speakers. You can find more information on the group and their events on their facebook page. The talk was in German and you can get the material below. Feedback, as always, very welcome!

Slides (German)

Appendix (German)

Keynote at an ABM Workshop in Berlin

Posted May 22 2017

This presentation was a keynote at the workshop “Agent-based modelling in economics – From toy model to verified tool of analysis” organized by Prof. Sylvie Geisendorf . I discuss ways to verify and validate ABM, and interpret these approaches from an epistemological perspective.

Slides (English)

Article on mechanism-based explanations, complexity and institutionalism

Posted May 22 2017

A new article of mine has been published in the recent issue of the Journal of Economic Issues. It is called The Complementary Relationship Between Institutional and Complexity Economics: The Example of Deep Mechanismic Explanations. In the article I discuss the usefulness of mechanism-based explanations when one is dealing with complex systems, and how this aligns well with the research practice of classical institutionalism.

One challenge with mechanism-based explanations is the need for a new criterion to choose among competing explanations. I argue in the article that Mario Bunge’s concept of deep explanations would be very useful in this respect, but that the more widely known concept of Occam’s razor is problematic.

You can access the paper here or use the accepted manuscript .

I stongly recommend you to have a look at the whole issue of the JEI since there are some very cool contributions. Joseph Stiglitz, for example, discusses how one can counter the vested interests of powerful elites in the political discourse. And Torsten Heinrich provides a very illuminating (and truly interdisciplinary) discussion of evolutionary modelling in economics. Very interesting for me who is interested in development economics and Latin America was the paper by Svenja Flechtner: she discusses the “growth mircale” of the Dominican Republic, which turns out to benefit only a few families. Very interesting, but also worrying contribution!

Contribution to a Volume on the Theory and Method of Evolutionary Political Economy

Posted: January 26 2017

Hardy Hanappi, Savvas Katsikides and Manuel Scholz-Wackerle edited a nice volume on Theory and Method of Evolutionary Political Economy. It has now been published by Routledge and I contributed a chapter on how to deal adequately with the political element in formal modelling.

WIWA Young Scholar Award for Pluralism in Economics

Posted: November 25 2016

I am very happy to receive the WIWA Young Scholar Award for Pluralism in Economics. This is an amazing acknowledgement of my work for which I am very grateful. I thank Prof. Joachim Zweynert for initiating the price last year and to the Witten Institute for Institutional Change for giving the award to me.

I will receive the price while giving a lecture on the topic “The complexity challenge: Systemist thinking, computational modeling, and pluralism” in Witten/Herdecke on December 12.

Invited talk on institutional economics and complexity in Berlin

Posted: November 21 2016

The Critical Economists, a highly active student group in Berlin, invited me again to their public lecture series on Schools of thought and controversies in economics

It’s an amazing project that allows students to broaden their horizon and explore different approaches to economic theory as part of their Bachelor or Master at one of the big Universities in Berlin (Free University, Humboldt University, Technical University). Thus, I am happy I could contribute a lecture on institutionalism and an exercise session on agent-based modeling and complexity.

The talk was in German and you can get the material here. As usual, feedback is highly welcome.

Segnitz-Award for the best dissertation

Posted: November 5 2016

I am happy and grateful to receive the generously sponsored Segnitz-Award for the best dissertation at the Department of Business Studies and Economics at the University of Bremen. My dissertation contains a couple of contributions to a systemist approach to economics and features an extensive ontological, epistemological and methodological framework for complexity economics.

Edited volume on policy implications now published

Posted: June 1 2016

Together with Torsten Heinrich and Henning Schwardt I edited a volume on the topic Policy Implications of Recent Advances in Evolutionary and Institutional Economics. It has now been published by Routledge. It contains a number of excellent articles that explore the policy implications of recent theoretical and empirical findings of institutional, evolutionary, and complexity economics.

Keynote at an ABM Workshop in Berlin

Posted: May 22 2016

I recently gave a keynote at the workshop “Agent-based modelling in Ecological Economics - A useful tool or just a fancy gadget?” in Berlin. The workshop was organized by Prof. Sylvie Geisendorf . The talk was in English and you can get the slides here. As usual, feedback is highly welcome.

Talk on the role of networks and complexity in economics

Posted: May 16 2016

I recently gave a talk on the role of networks and complexity in economics in Vienna. The talk was in German and you can get the slides here. Please note that the talk is meant for beginners so so not expect to much technical content. Feedback is, of course, highly welcome.

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