A Classical Economic Perspective on Using Coalgebras to Model the Process of Accumulation

By James Juniper.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: December 23, 2015 $US5.00

The notion of a universal coalgebra affords both a formal and unifying representation of dynamic systems, including deterministic, weighted and probabilistic automatons, differential equation systems, hybrid and control systems, reaction-diffusion equations, and timed and stochastic Petri nets, as well as power series and Taylor series. In this paper I briefly examine the various ways that coalgebraic techniques have been applied to quantitative modelling in the social sciences. In this context, I provide a critique of Philip Mirowski’s proposal to use “self-reproducing” automatons as a means for simulating the evolution of market mechanisms. Instead, I examine ways that coalgebraic techniques could be used to represent adjustment processes of varying temporality that arise in the simulation of Classical and Keynesian models of a multi-sectoral economy. Here, the focus will be on three inter-related developments associated with the global dominance of neoliberal policy regimes: namely, the crippling of organized labour; the demise of Keynesianism; and the growth in “financialization”. I argue that these developments must be understood in the context of both the global concentration and centralization of control and the increasing use of household debt as a means of maintaining accumulation, albeit, at the expense of increasing financial fragility.

Keywords: Automatons, Political Economy, Sraffa, Coalgebra

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, Volume 10, pp.1-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: December 23, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 738.361KB)).

Dr. James Juniper

Lecturer, Newcastle Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, Newcastle University, Callaghan, NSW, Australia