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10th Tinbergen Institute Conference: Complexity in Economics and Finance

The 10th Tinbergen Institute Conference: Complexity in Economics and Finance will take place in the Auditorium room at the Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam on May 18-20, 2015.


The last couple of decades economic teaching and research has moved the field of economics into a single standardized paradigm of rational, self-interested, mostly identical agents, whose behavior is analyzed in equilibrium. While this has fostered communication between economists and led to a surge in our understanding of economic and financial markets, the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 showed that this analytical approach does not form a panacea to all our economic problems. As Trichet put it, during the financial crisis, central bankers and policy makers “felt abandoned by conventional tools”, as the standard approach was neither unable to foresee nor prepared to handle a crisis of this magnitude. It seems that the standard economic approach is ill-suited to handle situations characterized by sudden transitions, crises, or cascading effects.

But what is the alternative? Luckily, while economists moved into a paradigm of static equilibrium behavior of homogeneous agents, other fields, such as physics, biology, ecology and mathematics, have moved into the opposite direction. A new encompassing approach has developed in order to analyze dynamic systems with heterogeneous interacting components, which are characterized by chaotic behavior, networks, sudden regime shifts, cascades and extreme events. This is the complex systems approach. In this approach agents are heterogeneous and boundedly rational. The complex systems view fits very well with behavioral models of macroeconomics and finance.

Can this complex systems approach be applied to economics and finance as well, and lead to new insights and better economic models and tools? Some applied physicists, mathematicians and economists believe it can, and they increasingly receive the support from economic and financial policy makers. It is time that PhD students, professors, researchers and policy makers in economics and finance become aware of this new approach, and learn how to use these tools in their own work.


The objective of the conference is:

  1. to introduce a broad economic public to the complex systems approach, in particular applied to macroeconomic and financial systems;
  2. to increase understanding and foster collaboration between the different sciences in the analysis of economics and finance.


The general topic of the three days will be:

Day 1:              Financial and Economic Crises
Day 2:              Financial and Economic Networks
Day 3:              The Economy as a Complex System

Preliminary program

Monday 18 May (Financial and Economic Crises)

    • 9:00-9:30 Registration
    • 9:30-10:30 Robert May (Oxford University)
    • 10:30-11:00 Coffee/tea break
    • 11:00-12:00 Jean-Philippe Bouchaud ( École Polytechnique)
    • 12:00-13:00 Cees Diks (University of Amsterdam)
    • 13:00-14:00 Lunch
    • 14:00-15:00 Doyne Farmer (Oxford University)
    • 15:00-16:00 Didier Sornette (ETH)
    • 16:00-16:30 Coffee/tea break
    • 16:30-17:30 Stefan Thurner (University of Vienna)

Tuesday 19 May (Financial and Economic Networks)

    • 9:30-10:30 Sanjeev Goyal (University of Cambridge)
    • 10:30-11:00 Coffee/tea break
    • 11:00-12:00 Co-Pierre Georg (University of Cape Town and Bundesbank)
    • 12:00-13:00 Rama Cont (Imperial College London)
    • 13:00-14:00 Lunch
    • 14:00-15:00 Adam Szeidl (Central European University)
    • 15:00-16:00 Marco van der Leij (University of Amsterdam)
    • 16:00-16:30 Coffee/tea break
    • 16:30-17:30 Fernando Vega-Redondo (Bocconi University)
    • 19:00-23:00 Conference dinner

Wednesday 20 May (The Economy as a Complex System)

    • 9:30-10:30 Steven Durlauf (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
    • 10:30-11:00 Coffee/tea break
    • 11:00-12:00 Blake LeBaron (Brandeis University, United States) (to be confirmed)
    • 12:00-13:00 Rosario Nunzio Mantegna (Central European University)
    • 13:00-14:00 Lunch
    • 14:00-15:00 Domenico Delli Gatti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    • 15:00-16:00 Luciano Pietronero  (University of Rome “La Sapienza”)
    • 16:00-16:30 Coffee/tea break
    • 16:30-17:30 Herbert Dawid (Bielefeld University)


Cars Hommes
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +31 20 525 4246

Marco van der Leij
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +31 20 525 7356

Local contact

Event Manager Tinbergen Institute: Christina Månsson. Please find contact details here.


Please check the conference's web site for further information.


Tinbergen Institute

Tinbergen Institute (TI) is one of Europe's top graduate schools and research institutes in economics, econometrics and finance in the Netherlands, located in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and offers a research master program (MPhil) in economics and finance as well as PhD opportunities under expert...

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