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The Methodological Status of Agent-Based Simulations

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  • Roberto Leombruni

Abstract

In this paper I give a tentative assessment of the methodological status of agent based simulations. I first show under which conditions ABS can be a complement to traditional modelling. I then consider whether they can be held as a sound methodology of their own. Various topics relevant to the argument are briefly discussed, such as the forecasting role of theories, the realism of assumptions, Hayek’s insights on economics methodology. I cast the arguments given into some results of modern theory of abductive inference, providing a framework that helps clarify the logical status of simulations, and gives some hints on how to foster their role as a self sustained tool for economic reasoning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies in its series LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series with number 19.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:19

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  1. Nick Vriend, 2000. "Was Hayek An Ace?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 272, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  3. Kenneth L. Judd, 1997. "Computational Economics and Economic Theory: Substitutes or Complements," NBER Technical Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Paul J. McNulty, 1967. "A Note on the History of Perfect Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 395.
  5. Joshua M. Epstein & Robert L. Axtell, 1996. "Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550253, December.
  6. Nigel Gilbert & Pietro Terna, 2000. "How to build and use agent-based models in social science," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 1(1), pages 57-72, March.
  7. Leigh Tesfatsion, 2000. "Agent-Based Computational Economics: A Brief Guide to the Literature," Computational Economics 0004001, EconWPA.
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Cited by:
  1. Matteo Richiardi, 2003. "The Promises and Perils of Agent-Based Computational Economics," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 29, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  2. Paul Windrum & Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessio Moneta, 2007. "Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models: Alternatives and Prospects," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 10(2), pages 8.
  3. Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessio Moneta & Paul Windrum, 2007. "A Critical Guide to Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models in Economics: Methodologies, Procedures, and Open Problems," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 195-226, October.
  4. Giorgio Fagiolo & Paul Windrum & Alessio Moneta, 2006. "Empirical Validation of Agent Based Models: A Critical Survey," LEM Papers Series 2006/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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