We were pleased to announce a call for extended abstracts or draft papers on complexity economics and political economy, which will be linked to a conference titled, “Complex system approaches to 21st century challenges: inequality, climate change, and new technologies”.

It was possible to submit extended abstracts or draft papers in two different tracks. 1) Original research papers may be published in a special issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, subject to the standard peer review process. 2) Surveys, reviews and perspective pieces will be collected in an edited book that will be part four in the series, The Economy as an Evolving Complex System, to be published by the Santa Fe Institute Press.


As the global economy undergoes major transformations, including the transition to net-zero carbon emissions, shifts in demographic patterns and inequality, and structural change caused by new technologies, there is a pressing need to understand the economic and political implications of these changes and provide policy guidance. Complexity economics provides a promising framework for addressing these issues, as it models the behavior of boundedly rational agents and the institutions and networks that shape and constrain these behaviors. Agent-based models, a key tool in complexity economics, offer a flexible and realistic approach to understanding the decisions and interactions of agents, and can easily incorporate any type of policy in as much detail as needed.

We encouraged submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including economics, political science, sociology, psychology, and computer science. Topics for submission included, but were not limited to, the following areas:

  1. The transition to net-zero and its impacts on production, financial systems and labor markets
  2. Inequality and political polarization
  3. Financial stability, systemic risk and causes of market malfunction
  4. Innovation and drivers of economic growth 
  5. Macroeconomics and endogenous business cycles 
  6. Technological change and its impacts on the labor market
  7. Monopolies and increasing returns to scale
  8. Effects of heterogenous agents, e.g. firm-level models of production, urban and labor market models with detailed synthetic populations, mobility networks, etc.
  9. New methods in complexity economics, e.g. applications of machine learning and natural language to studying the economy from a complexity perspective

As described in more detail below, we solicited papers in two categories, for two different publication outlets (which will appear more or less simultaneously).

Special issue of JEBO for original research

We invited submissions of extended abstracts for original research using complexity economics, agent-based modeling, networks, and other related methods to address the topics listed above.  We welcomed both theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers that contributed to our understanding of these challenges.  Authors whose abstracts were accepted will be invited to submit papers to a special issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.  Extended abstracts should be at least a full page, excluding references, but longer abstracts are allowed.

Edited book for perspectives and surveys

Perspectives and surveys will be published in part IV of the SFI series, "The Economy as a Complex System”, to be published by SFI Press.  This series marked the advent of complexity economics in 1987, and has been influential in tracking its progress since then.  We have in mind pieces that either review a given line of work within complexity economics, provide perspective on what complexity economics can do, or discuss its relationship to work in other areas.  We are particularly interested in papers that provide an interface between complexity economics and other areas of social science, especially papers with a connection to political economy.

Deadlines and funding

The deadline for submissions of extended abstracts or draft papers was April 15th, 2023. Authors of accepted submissions were invited to attend the conference July 31 - August 2, 2023, and were expected submit a full manuscript by January 15th, 2024. (Where papers have more than one author, we will likely only be able to invite only one author).  We expect the first round of revisions to be completed by March 2024 and the second round of revisions to be completed by July 2024 so that the papers can appear shortly thereafter.  Submissions should be sent to

Review of important dates

Submission deadline for extended Abstracts:  April 15th, 2023

Expected notification date: May 1st, 2023

Workshop July 31 – August 2, 2023

Submission Deadline for full manuscripts:  January 15th, 2024

Expected first round of revisions March 2024

Expected second round of revisions July 2024

Final Notifications and Anticipated Publication: October 2024