The Microeconomics of Complex Economies book cover

The Microeconomics of Complex Economies

Evolutionary, Institutional, Neoclassical, and Complexity Perspectives

The Microeconomics of Complex Economies uses game theory, modeling approaches, formal techniques, and computer simulations to teach useful, accessible approaches to real modern economies. It covers topics of information and innovation, including national and regional systems of innovation; clustered and networked firms; and open-source/open-innovation production and use. Its final chapter on policy perspectives and decisions confirms the value of the toolset.

Written so chapters can be used independently, the book includes an introduction to computer simulation and pedagogical supplements. Its formal, accessible treatment of complexity goes beyond the scopes of neoclassical and mainstream economics. The highly interdependent economy of the 21st century demands a reconsideration of economic theories.

Advanced undergraduates and graduate students who have taken a first course in microeconomics.

Hardbound, 600 Pages

Published: April 2014

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-411585-9


  • "Elsner, Schwardt and Heinrich define the very starting point of microeconomics as the investigation of agents’ coordination and conflict under conditions of interdependence and uncertainty. As such, the book provides a long overdue and immensely rich complement to the standard curriculum." --Rudiger von Arnim, University of Utah

    "Neoclassical economics created a utopian economy, which is far from the industrial reality. Wolfram Elsner, Torsten Heinrich, and Henning Schwardt’s new textbook, The Microeconomics of Complex Economies, provides a better framework for understanding contemporary issues such as information, innovation, network, hierarchy, and varieties of capitalism from a new perspective of complexity and evolution. Economic students and policy makers can gain a lot of insight from this timely textbook after having experienced the 2008 Financial Crisis." --Ping Chen, Peking University and Fudan University


  • Part I Basics of the Interdependent Economy and Its Processes

    1 Microeconomics of the Interdependent Economy – Basic Ideas, Conceptions, and Definitions

    2 Tools I: An Introduction to Game Theory

    3 Problem Structures and Processes of Interdependent Economies

    4 Approaching Real-World Complexity: New Empirical Phenomena in the "New Economy"

    Part II Markets: General-Equilibrium Theory and Real-World Market Structures

    5 The Neoclassical General-Equilibrium Economy

    6 Critical Perspectives on the General-Equilibrium Theory and Alternative Price Theories

    7 Real-World Markets: Hierarchy, Size, and Direct Interdependence

    Part III Further Tools and the Analysis of Complex Economies

    8 Tools II: More Formal Concepts of Game Theory, and Evolutionary Game Theory

    9 Tools III: On Complex Modeling and Simulation

    10 A Universe of Economies – Complexity and Dynamics, and Self-Organization

    11 Dynamics, Complexity, Evolution, and Emergence – The Roles of Game Theory and Simulation Methods

    Part IV History of Thought and Contemporary Models in Complexity Economics

    12 Some Founders: Glimpses at A. Smith, T.B. Veblen, J.A. Schumpeter, and Others

    13 Selected Critical Models in the More Recent Literature

    14 Towards ‘Meso’-Economics: Co-Evolution of Institutional Coordination and Group Size

    Part V Further Applications and Interactive Economic Policy

    15 Information and Innovation – Collective Goods and Open-Source Cooperation

    16 The Networked Firm, the Networked Economy, Systems of Innovation and "Varieties of Capitalism"

    17 Policy Implications: A New Policy Perspective for Firm Networks, Network Consultants, and Public Agencies

    18 A Discussion of Limitations, Possible Extensions, Convergences, and the Future of Economic Complexity Analysis


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