So, I delivered a plenary address in Jonkoping, Sweden at the 6th International Conference on Nonlinear Economic Dynamics, with some semi-juicy stuff from it below the fold. However, for above the fold I shall comment on the general atmosphere. What is in is agent-based modeling of the nonlinear dynamics of financial markets, especially speculative bubbles and crashes. Other topics covered included oligopoly dynamics, macroeconomic fluctuations, ecologic-economic models, and regional models, as well as some pure math stuff.
Some of the people doing the financial markets modeling are those who have been way ahead of what has gone on, such as Frank Westerhoff who was in the NY Times last fall, or Serena Sordi and Alessandro Vercelli of Siena, who have been modeling Minsky dynamics for years and are now looking very prescient indeed. But now it is very faddish to do this stuff, although I think that it is indeed the way to go. So, one participant who is an industrial organization person was complaining about "there are too many financial models," and then he chaired a session on oligopoly dynamics. Much to his annoyance, one participant who was supposed to present a paper on Stackelberg entry, completely changed his topic to.... financial market dynamics. Oh well. Guess there will be an intellectual speculative bubble in this stuff for awhile, even if some of the folks at this are doing the real thing.
OK now for the juicy stuff from my talk, which was on "Nonlinear Economic Dynamics in Urban and Regional Economics." I covered a lot of stuff that will be in my forthcoming Vol. II of the second edition of my From Catastrophe to Chaos: A General Theory of Economic Discontinuities. However, along the way I documented how Paul Krugman failed to cite other peoples' work, especially that for which he received the Nobel Prize, and showed some figures he published that look like figures in other peoples' work appearing before his that he never cited, and so on and on. I figured I might be in trouble cricitizing the Swedish Royal Academy on Swedish soil, but discovered quite the contrary: the local economists knowledgeable about this material were in full agreement and even said that I had not gone far enough. Apparently the prize not shared with some others for Krugman has created a major "scandal" behind the scenes in Sweden, with phrases such as "committee not well read" "procedures for the committee need reforming" and so on being stated. I will not say all I heard, but I must say that none of it was at all flattering to Paul Krugman, some of it reflecting astoundingly petty conduct on his part. Anyway, they all are down on his case for not citing people who did work before him for which he got the prize.
After a particularly dramatic remark on my part, there was a loud crack of thunder, and one member of the audience declared, "I knew it!"
Oh, this is not juicy particularly, but I also chaired the final session, at which it was decided to found a Nonlinear Economic Dynamics Society on my motion, with me proposing an executive committee, without me on it, but which means the outfit will probably continue to exist.