INET Oxford's Research Themes

Foundations of Economics


For most of the twentieth century the methodological toolkit of economics was centred on equilibrium models, analytical proofs, and traditional econometric methods. But the advent of inexpensive high-speed computing, the explosion of data made available by the web, and methodological advances in other fields have opened up economics to an array of new tools and methods. INET Oxford's Economic Modelling Programme (EMoD) has pioneered a new approach to econometrics using computerised automatic model selection that can detect and model multiple structural breaks in time series and model non-linearities. The Complexity Economics Programme has developed novel methods of modelling nested, multiple level networks which are a common feature of many economic systems (e.g. supply chains, interbank networks). The group are also leaders in the use of agent-based modelling and are developing the world's first large-scale agent-based macroeconomic-financial model. INET Oxford researchers are also experimenting with evolutionary models of economic growth, machine learning on large 'Big Data' sets, and collaborating with experimental economists to incorporate behavioural heuristics derived from laboratory experiments into economic models.

Finally, members of the Institute are also exploring the philosophical foundations of economics, notably understanding the economy as a reflexive system and exploring its implications for the epistemology and ontology of economics.

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