Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Complex: a complex is composed of components that can be distinguished from each other and are relatively autonomous. Complex behavior refers to systems that consist of several components. The relative independence of the components is manifested in their behavior. Relative autonomy of the components is determined by the description of the complex as a whole.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Brian Arthur on Complexes/Complexity - Dictionary of Arguments

Surowiecki I 124
Complexity/behavior/Brian Arthur/Surowiecki: the "El Farol Problem" (named after a bar in Santa Fe that was full of live music on certain evenings): When El Farol is 60% full, everyone will be satisfied. If it is more than that no one else will feel comfortable there. People will therefore only go there if they believe that the capacity is only used up to 60%.
Surowiecki I 125
Arthur: people will use different strategies because there is no unambiguous mathematical deducible answer. Strategies: a) the assumption that there will be as many people coming this Friday as there were last Friday - b) the assumption that there will be as many as there were on the last visit (on another day) - c) the assumption of an average value - d) the assumption that the visit would be different from the previous week's one.
Experiment: Arthur simulated various scenarios (represented by agents) on the computer over a period of 100 weeks.
Problem: because the agents pursued different strategies, there was no regularity. No pattern was discernible. Surprisingly, however, there was an average occupancy rate of 60%. (1)

1. W. Brian Arthur, »Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality«, American Enocomic Review 84/1994, S. 406ff.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EconArthur I
W. Brian Arthur
Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy Ann Arbor 1994

Surowi I
James Surowiecki
Die Weisheit der Vielen: Warum Gruppen klüger sind als Einzelne und wie wir das kollektive Wissen für unser wirtschaftliches, soziales und politisches Handeln nutzen können München 2005

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