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The Promises and Perils of Agent-Based Computational Economics

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  • Matteo Richiardi

    (LABORatorio Revelli Centre for Employment Studies)

Abstract

In this paper I analyse the main strengths and weaknesses of agent-based computational models. I first describe how agent-based simulations can complement more traditional modelling techniques. Then, I rationalise the main theoretical critiques against the use of simulation, which point to the following problematic areas: (i) interpretation of the simulation dynamics, (ii) estimation of the simulation model, and (iii) generalisation of the results. I show that there exist solutions for all these issues. Along the way, I clarify some confounding differences in terminology between the computer science and the economic literature.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/comp/papers/0401/0401001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Computational Economics with number 0401001.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpco:0401001

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 28; figures: 2
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Agent-based; Simulation; Microsimulation; Computational Economics; Structural Estimation; Economic methodology;

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References

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  1. David Hendry & Maozu Lu & Grayham E. Mizon, 2001. "Model Identification and Non-unique Structure," Economics Papers 2002-W10, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Daniel McFadden, 1987. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models Without Numerical Integration," Working papers 464, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Weisbuch, G. & Kirman, A.P. & Herreiner, D., 1996. "Market Organisation," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a20, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  4. Leigh Tesfatsion, 2002. "Agent-Based Computational Economics," Computational Economics 0203001, EconWPA, revised 15 Aug 2002.
  5. Steven Stern, 1997. "Simulation-Based Estimation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 2006-2039, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Freeman, Richard B., 1998. "War of the models: Which labour market institutions for the 21st century?1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, March.
  8. Manuel S. Santos & Adrian Peralta-Alva, 2003. "Accuracy of Simulations for Stochastic Dynamic Models," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000264, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Leigh Tesfatsion & Mark Pingle, 2003. "Evolution of Worker-Employer Networks and Behaviors Under Alternative Non-Employment Benefits: An Agent-Based Computational Study," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 7, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Kleijnen, J.P.C., 1997. "Experimental Design for Sensitivity Analysis, Optimization and Validation of Simulation Models," Discussion Paper 1997-52, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Daniel A. Ackerberg, 2001. "A New Use of Importance Sampling to Reduce Computational Burden in Simulation Estimation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
  13. Chris Goldspink, 2002. "Methodological Implications of Complex Systems Approaches to Sociality: Simulation As a Foundation for Knowledge," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 5(1), pages 3.
  14. Alan P. Kirman, 1994. "Economies with Interacting Agents," Working Papers 94-05-030, Santa Fe Institute.
  15. Roberto Leombruni, 2002. "The Methodological Status of Agent-Based Simulations," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 19, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  16. Robert Axelrod, 1997. "Advancing the Art of Simulation in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 97-05-048, Santa Fe Institute.
  17. 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.
  18. Pakes, Ariel & Pollard, David, 1989. "Simulation and the Asymptotics of Optimization Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1027-57, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Weidlich, Anke & Veit, Daniel, 2008. "A critical survey of agent-based wholesale electricity market models," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1728-1759, July.
  5. 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.
  6. Schuster, Stephan, 2012. "Applications in Agent-Based Computational Economics," MPRA Paper 47201, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Matteo Richiardi, 2003. "On the Use of Agent-Based Simulations," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 32, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.

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