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Volume 2017, Article ID 4753863, 10 pages
Research Article

The “Invisible Hand” of Economic Markets Can Be Visualized through the Synergy Created by Division of Labor

Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela

Correspondence should be addressed to Klaus Jaffé; ev.bsu@effajk

Received 6 March 2017; Revised 10 September 2017; Accepted 21 November 2017; Published 18 December 2017

Academic Editor: Pietro De Lellis

Copyright © 2017 Klaus Jaffé. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inspired by Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek, economists promoting free markets postulate the existence of invisible forces that drive economic growth. Simulations with Sociodynamica allowed the emergence of market forces in virtual economies, showing that the synergistic working of division of labor in complex settings favors a stable state where all actors benefit (win-win interaction). By visualizing the detailed dynamics underlying this phenomenon in a simple virtual economy, the elements underpinning the synergistic effect on economic output produced by the division of labor between agents could be dissected. These are heterogeneity or spatial or temporal heterogeneous environment and/or agents; complementary activities of agents, with divergent optimization options; and synchrony. Markets help synchronize agent’s actions. The larger the contact horizon between participants of the market is, the more efficient the market forces act. These features allow for social processes that increase the information available and increase simultaneously the capacity of producing useful economic work, that is, synergy. This insight, although trivial if viewed a posteriori, improves our understanding of the source and nature of synergies in real economic markets and might render economic and natural sciences more consilient.