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The Economics of Utopia: A Co-Evolutionary Model of Ideas, Citizens and Civilization

32 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2015  

Isabel Almudi

University of Zaragoza

Francisco Fatas‐Villafranca

University of Zaragoza

Luis R. Izquierdo

University of Burgos

Jason Potts

RMIT University

Date Written: December 16, 2015

Abstract

We propose a new history-friendly approach to evolutionary socio-economic dynamics based around competition between five ‘utopias’, as central ideas about which to order society: capitalism, socialism, democracy, nature, and nationalism (Montgomery and Chirot 2015). In our model, citizens contribute economic resources to their preferred utopia, and societal dynamics are explained as a co-evolutionary process between these competing utopias. Civilization emerges with competitive balance between these ideas, maximized when no one utopia dominates. We calibrate the model on a study of socio-economic and political change in the US from the 1960s-present. We cover such episodes as the outbreak of civil rights/pro-democracy movements in the 1970s, the rise of neo-liberalism in the 1980s, and the channels through which America engendered an ‘age of fracture’. Further applications for empirical and theoretical research are suggested.

Keywords: Utopia, civilization, citizen, subsystem, political economy, co-evolutionary modeling

JEL Classification: B52, O57, P16, P51, Z10

Suggested Citation

Almudi, Isabel and Fatas‐Villafranca, Francisco and Izquierdo, Luis R. and Potts, Jason, The Economics of Utopia: A Co-Evolutionary Model of Ideas, Citizens and Civilization (December 16, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2704206 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2704206

Isabel Almudi

University of Zaragoza ( email )

Gran Via 2
Zaragoza, 50005
Spain

Francisco Fatas‐Villafranca

University of Zaragoza

Zaragoza, 50005

Luis Izquierdo

University of Burgos ( email )

Hospital del Rey, s/n
Burgos, 09001
Spain

Jason Potts (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

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