TI Complexity in Economics Seminars

John Barkley Rosser (James Madison University, United States)
Thursday, 7 July 2016

This paper studies complex dynamics that can arise in fisheries, forests, and broader ecological-economic systems as a result of human-natural interactions. Such dynamics make it impossible for agents to fully optimize, meaning that they must use bounded rationality to achieve mutually acceptable behavioral solutions within social groups. Implications for managing such systems, particularly when they are commons, re considered, with recommendations regarding the Scale-Matching and Precautionary Principles. These arguments are linked to ideas of Elinor Ostrom regarding how to manage commons, with her having emphasized the problems of complexity late in her career and the implications of this for social groups to establish and follow norms for sustainable behavior in managing such systems.