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Vers une macroéconomie fondée sur des agents autonomes et intelligents


  • Peter Howitt
  • Jean-Luc Gaffard


This paper discusses a research agenda that has been advocated by Axel Leijonhufvud for studying the coordination process of a decentralized market economy. The research used agent-based modeling, an approach that assumes exogenous rules for adaptive behavior, thereby endowing agents with an autonomy that is impossible in a rational-expectations-equilibrium approach. The paper argues that this approach also endows people with more intelligence than would a standard optimizing approach. The analysis focuses on the role of business firms as coordinating agents who organize trading activities. Computer simulations show that a network of specialist trading enterprises can emerge from autarky when people follow simple myopic rules. The interactions between trading enterprises and households results in a multiplier process which can be shown to mimic time-series behavior of detrended real GDP in the United States. The analysis can also be used to illustrate the possibly destabilizing effects of excessive wage/price flexibility. JEL Classification: B4, D50, D58, D83.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Howitt & Jean-Luc Gaffard, 2007. "Vers une macroéconomie fondée sur des agents autonomes et intelligents," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 55-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_102_0055

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    Cited by:

    1. Michaël Assous & Muriel Dal Pont Legrand & Harald Hagemann, 2016. "Business cycles and growth," Chapters,in: Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume III, chapter 4, pages 27-39 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    macroeconomy; agent behavior; information; autonomy; adaptation; coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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