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Complex Markets

Let's examine the structure and complexity of markets. Markets, like all living systems, comprise a level of complexity beyond the comprehension of the human mind. The connections amount to billions—probably trillions.

Although the flow of production in an economic system travels from higher level producers, to lower level producers, ultimately to consumers, the flow of influence actually runs in the opposite direction—from consumers to producers. Prices throughout the structure of production, for example, reflect the preferences of consumers; not the "costs" of producers.

Graphic Model of
Small Complex Market

To demonstrate the flow of this influence I have presented a model that shows the complex connections in a simple market.

The presentation (using Prezi) steps through the model created in PersonalBrain (no longer used). It should give you a sense of the complexity of even a small market. This presentation guides you through the model step by step. You should view it first.


Most descriptions of markets overlook two very important concepts:

  1. The complexity of markets.
  2. Costs develop from the consumer backwards through the structure of production.

The Model

How many steps from the buyer of an aluminum framed bicycle to the aluminum mine? How many people interact with that bike buyer and the businesses that supply him?

This model does not pretend to give a definitive answer to these questions, but it should give you new insights into the complexity of even small markets and the manner in which all producers depend on consumers to buy their products and, thereby, send price signals throughout the market.

To begin the presentation click "Present" in the center of the presentation..

After the presentation has begun, you can back up any time by clicking the left arrow, and you can activate a full screen mode—for better viewing—by clicking "Fullscreen" icon in the lower right corner of the Prezi frame.

A Large Presentation

This graphic presentation will not fit on smaller screens. Please return to this page on a larger monitor to see that exlpanation.