IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Heuristic learning and the discovery of specialization and exchange

  • Kimbrough, Erik O.

I develop and calibrate an agent-based model of boundedly rational, adaptive agents in a two-good production and exchange economy to replicate human-subject outcomes in the same eight-person experimental economy. To test agents' ability to capture human behavior, I extend the model and use its output to make predictions about a second experimental environment in which the group of eight agents is slowly constructed by merging smaller groups. This environment improves human-subject performance in the specialization and exchange task, and commensurate improvement emerges for some parameterizations of the agent-based model. This iterative process yields incremental improvement of decision-level theories about economic discovery.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 491-511

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:35:y:2011:i:4:p:491-511
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jan W. Rivkin, 2000. "Imitation of Complex Strategies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(6), pages 824-844, June.
  2. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  3. Anufriev, M. & Hommes, C.H., 2009. "Evolutionary Selection of Individual Expectations and Aggregate Outcomes," CeNDEF Working Papers 09-09, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  4. Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1997. "A Trade Network Game with Endogenous Partner Selection," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1680, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. John Duffy, 2004. "Agent-Based Models and Human Subject Experiments," Computational Economics 0412001, EconWPA.
  6. Arthur, W Brian, 1993. "On Designing Economic Agents That Behave Like Human Agents," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-22, February.
  7. Daniel A. Levinthal, 1997. "Adaptation on Rugged Landscapes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(7), pages 934-950, July.
  8. Sean Crockett & VernonL. Smith & BartJ. Wilson, 2009. "Exchange and Specialisation as a Discovery Process," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1162-1188, 07.
  9. Arthur, W Brian, 1991. "Designing Economic Agents that Act Like Human Agents: A Behavioral Approach to Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 353-59, May.
  10. Starr, Ross M, 1976. "Decentralized Nonmonetary Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(5), pages 1087-89, September.
  11. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1996. "The Behavior of the Exchange Rate in the Genetic Algorithm and Experimental Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 510-41, June.
  12. Goppelsroeder, Marie, 2009. "Entry in Collusive Markets: An Experimental Study," MPRA Paper 14707, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Erik Kimbrough & Vernon Smith & Bart Wilson, 2006. "Historical Property Rights, Sociality, and the Emergence of Impersonal Exchange in Long-distance Trade," Working Papers 1003, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Oct 2006.
  14. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  15. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1994. "Genetic algorithm learning and the cobweb model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 3-28, January.
  16. Frenken, Koen, 2006. "A fitness landscape approach to technological complexity, modularity, and vertical disintegration," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 288-305, September.
  17. Jasmina Arifovic & John Ledyard, 2004. "Scaling Up Learning Models in Public Good Games," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(2), pages 203-238, 05.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:35:y:2011:i:4:p:491-511. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.