Randomness in the Dynamics of Social Process and the Generation of Institutional Forms
We consider the basis to expect that effects of randomness are more pervasive and enduring in economic and social processing than is commonly recognized. Accounts of randomness in evolutionary dynamics in life sciences and engineering are briefly reviewed in support of this assertion. To exemplify process that we describe, we introduce a dynamic system in which randomness of relatively small magnitude can result in large magnitude differences in equilibrium levels of system constructs. We also report an exercise that indicates the significance effects randomness can have on structure and enduring inequality. Our review and the exemplification we provide suggest that priority in the study of social evolution should be in investigating diverse causal processes and conditions under which they are most likely to be operative rather than natural selection or any other single candidate process for reasons of parsimony, analytical convenience or because it has the most empirical support in other disciplines.
Keywords: Randomness in Social Dynamics, Evolution of Institutions, Inequality in Network Models
Dr Steven Silver
Professor, Lucas Graduate School of Business, California State University