Ever since Adam Smith invoked the imagery of an invisible hand to describe how private interest is turned into public gain, economists have been touting the social merits of the marketplace. But not until recently have we begun to see the possibility of fully understanding the underlying interactive processes that coordinate decentralized economies.

Sreekala Kochugovindan is a doctoral student in economics.
Nicolaas J. Vriend is a lecturer in economics, both at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.
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