Can Artificial Economies Help us Understand Real Economies?
This paper argues that the path followed by modern macroeconomic theory excludes the analysis of major endogenous movements in macroeconomic variables. Rather than persist with models based on the idea that the economy behaves like a rational individual we should build models of the economy as a complex system of interacting agents. Profiting from the advances made in computer science we can now build agent based or computational models which allow us to model the out of equilibrium behaviour of such systems. They allow us to remove many of the restrictive assumptions of standard models and to incorporate the heterogeneity of economic agents and the evolution of the network that governs the interactions between the individuals and firms in the economy. Such models can help fill the theoretical void with which policymakers declare that they have been faced in the current crisis.
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