- Visiting Research Fellow, Free University of Brussels
Bertin Martens is with the European Commission and is also visiting research fellow at the CLEA Multidisciplinary Center, and the Free University of Brussels (VUB). As an economist, Professor Martens's attention has been drawn increasingly to the incapacity of neo-classical economic theories to explain structural problems in economies.
Mr. Martens was born in Belgium and earned his Masters Degree in Economics from the Catholic University of Leuven, (Belgium) with specialization in econometrics and international economics. His professional trajectory is focused mainly on development economics (project design and evaluation, macro-economic modeling and implementation of structural reform programs) in Africa and Asia, with occasional diversions into economic modeling of European economies (The European Single Market).
He joined the European Commission in 1989 but took sabbatical leave again in December 1995 to work as a research fellow at the VUB/CLEA Multidisciplinary Research Centre. As an economist, Professor Martens’ attention has been drawn increasingly to the incapacity of neo-classical economic theories to explain structural problems in economies: under-performance of many developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, and transition problems in former communist countries, long-term structural problems in Western Europe.
In recent years, a number of new approaches have been developed in economics, looking at structural problems in terms of social order and institutions and the capacity to innovate. Economic science is gradually joining the world of complex adaptive systems. His research concentrates on the interfaces between cognitive space, social interactions space and the emergence of institutions and economic transactions, including production and consumption. He is now working on a generalized version of the Chaos Theorem which could (a) explain the transition mechanism from individual cognitive space into social interactions space and (b) self-emergence of order and social structures in a group of competitive individuals. Such a theory would cover the entire social interactions space and not only the special case of economic transactions. Present-day mainstream economics, based on the neo-classical paradigm, deals with competitive transactions in a market-setting only; it has no explanation for the emergence of behavioral rules and social structures, and their impact on economics.