(Economic) co-evolution

I'm interested in applying tools from the economic field, which is a field of study known for its abstract modelling of the outside world, to complex systems. By abstracting it is possible to focus on a limited amount of variables influencing the explananda. To look at particular entities of the complex system several abstractions are possible and hence related economic tools applicable. Several economic tools to look at entities (in a complex system) exist; e.g. punctuated equilibrium, path-dependency / lock-in, complex adaptive systems, co-evolution and self-evolution. Is the economic discourse applicable to such particular environments, and if so, what insights are created by applying it?

I have presented a paper at the Lof der Verwarring conference (May 19, 2005), together with Lasse Gerrits in order to see how the concepts of path-dependency, lock-in and increasing returns can be applied to the geometry of a particular river system, i.e. the Westerschelde. This paper is rewritten and published in Land Use Policy.
  • Gerrits, L, and Marks, P.K. (2008), Complex Bounded Rationality in Dyke Construction: Path-dependency and lock-in in the emergence of the geometry of the Zeeland delta, Land Use Policy 25(3): 330-337

Together with many member of a research group at the Erasmus University Rotterdam we have written a book on evolutionary public administration called Managing Complex Governance Systems, edited by Geert Teisman, Arwin van Buuren en Lasse Gerrits, published by Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-415-45973-0. Together with Lasse Gerrits and Arwin van Buuren I have contributed two chapters and a substantial part of the introductory chapter.

  • Gerrits, L, P. Marks and A. van Buuren (2009), Coevolution: a constant in non-linear thinking, in: Teisman, G., et al. (Eds) Managing complex governance systems: Dynamics, self-organization and coevolution in public investments, New York/London: Routledge, 134-153
  • Buuren, A. van, P. Marks and L. Gerrits (2009), Public policy-making and the management of co-evolution, in: Teisman, G. et al. (Eds) Managing complex governance systems: Dynamics, self-organization and coevolution in public investments, New York/London: Routledge, 154-171

This research has also resulted in a paper for the 3rd International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis in Essex, England.

  • Buuren, A. van , Gerrits, L. and Marks, P. (2008) A coevolutionary revision of spatial planning, 3rd International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis: Democracy, Governance, and Methods, University of Essex, Engeland, June 19-21

Together with Sibout Nooteboom I have written an article which is accepted and will soon be published in Systems Research and Behavioral Science on Adaptive networks as a governance system applied to the automotive sector.

  • Nooteboom, S, and Marks, P. (20..) Adaptive networks as second order governance systems, Systems research and Behavioral Science ...


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