Rebuilding Macroeconomics Complexity Prize seminar

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This seminar is the outcome of our competition experiment of research calls and review processes.

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‘Rebuilding Macroeconomics’ is a four-year project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and hosted by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which aims to construct a research network promoting interdisciplinary approaches to the study of macroeconomics, and to make recommendations for the future direction of research in this area.

We chose to experiment with different structures of research calls and review processes. We also decided to see what the response might be to a research competition in “complexity macroeconomics” to complement our research calls. This seminar is the outcome of this competition experiment.

By “complexity macroeconomics” we mean a system in which agents interact directly with each other with more realistic decision making to understand how the macroeconomy evolves over time. We asked for innovative papers that offered insight into our understanding of the macroeconomy beyond that which is possible using standard methods of economic analysis.

Despite some delay caused by Covid-19, we received 26 entries, the vast majority of which were written to a very high standard. We asked three widely respected experts in complexity economics, none of whom have any direct role in our project, to help us judge the winners. The criteria for selecting the winning papers included originality; the importance of the insight to our understanding of the macroeconomy; and quality of exposition.

We look forward to presentations from the winners of the competition, along with the opportunity to discuss with the authors as to how they see complexity science contributing to our understanding of the macroeconomy.


Dr Angus Armstrong, Director, Rebuilding Macroeconomics


Sebastian Poledna, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis: Economic Forecasting with an Agent-based Model

Valentina Semenova, University of Oxford: Reddit’s Self-Organised Bull Runs

Anton Pichler, University of Oxford: In and out of lockdown: Propagation of supply and demand shocks in a dynamic input-output model


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Organiser National Institute of Economic and Social Research

Organiser of Rebuilding Macroeconomics Complexity Prize seminar

NIESR aims to promote, through quantitative and qualitative research, a deeper understanding of the interaction of economic and social forces that affect people's lives, and the ways in which policies can improve them.

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