In the presentation 'Systemic Risk in Ecological and Financial Systems: Early Warnings?' at the 10th Tinbergen Institute Conference 2015, Robert M. May (Oxford University) aims to sketch some of the essential dynamical properties that ecosystems and recently-formed banking systems do – and do not – have in common. He particularly emphasises some of the essential features of "confidence" and the role that it can play in propagating cascades of failure within financial systems. May concludes by surveying some possible implications for regulatory measures.
Robert M. May is Professor of Zoology at Oxford University. Particular interests of him include: (i) how populations are structured and respond to change, particularly with respect to infectious diseases and biodiversity; (ii) the structure and dynamics of ecosystems (and – more recently – other networks, such as banking systems), with particular emphasis on their response to disturbance, natural or human-created.
The objective of the Tinbergen Institute Conference 2015 was (1) to introduce a broad economic public to the complex systems approach, in particular applied to macroeconomic and financial systems; and (2) to increase understanding and foster collaboration between the different sciences in the analysis of economics and finance.
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