The political economy of chaos: Multiple equilibria and fractal basin boundaries in a nonlinear environmental economy
In this dissertation, I simulate two models that study the interaction between capital accumulation and environmental feedback. The results of the first simulation show complex transient motion whose periodic trajectories are fractally distributed. The second model demonstrates the evolution of fractal boundaries between two attracting basins. I use the results to introduce a dis-aggregated technique into political economy for the modeling of uneven development, called the fractal economy method. Treating multiple equilibria as parallel in time rather than time sequential allows one to assign different initial conditions to different agents and follow the divergent trajectories of individual experience over time. Under certain conditions, even in cases where the model does not exhibit chaos, it shows sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This technique contributes to the understanding of uneven development and the unequal distribution of costs and resources in a complex economy.