Is there an Economics Catastrophe?

The Fluid Catastrophe is about the failure of the deterministic differential equations of Fluid Dynamics to account for turbulence. The title is an allusion to the “Ultra-Violet Catastrophe” whereby the deterministic differential equations of electro-magnetism fail to account for the ultra-violet spectrum of black body radiation.

In each case Newtonian differential equations were unable to account for an emergent property: the entropy of turbulence in the former case and the black body spectrum in the other. Emergent properties must always be beyond the reach of differential equations because they can only ever describe quantities which are continuous and differentiable in a manner which is independent of scale. The important thing about any emergent property is that, by definition, it is strongly dependent on scale and therefore requires a granular structure in order to exist at all.

Economic theory is also commonly expressed in terms of differential equations such as the Black-Scholes equation.

By doing so it is blind to the emergent properties of large economic systems.

What are they?

2 Replies to “Is there an Economics Catastrophe?”

  1. Post-War PEACE, how Peace evolves following war’s ending, is where “the emergent properties of large economic systems” is coming from, the ensuing chaos. As humanistic people fall over themselves and one another in the race to get jobs back from the technical people who took over during the war.

    Chaos, which is normally hard to recognise as such, because hidden by clever lawyers and political minders, but made evident in our time because of the accident of Climate Change, envisioned as a Winner takes all sure thing,

    Heaps of jobs in Government forever, it’s turning out to be a Dud!

    1. Well Fang you certainly do seem to see the Big Picture. I was thinking of something along the lines of an algorithm for making money on the stock market on a time scale of months to years.

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