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Resource scarcity, effort allocation and environmental security: An agent-based theoretical approach

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  • Hassani-Mahmooei, Behrooz
  • Parris, Brett W.

Abstract

It is widely feared that environmental degradation induced by climate change may lead to economic and political insecurity through channels such as resource scarcity and mass migration. In this paper, we have developed an agent-based model to study whether resource scarcity is likely to lead to an increase in the appropriation of resources in environments where adaptive agents can allocate a fraction of their effort to predatory behavior. By enriching a production and conflict model through the introduction of separate product and resource appropriations, we show how boundedly-rational agents capable of learning can update their adaptive expectations and optimize their allocation decisions using a genetic framework. Arising from a few simple rules, the results show a high level of complexity in agents' allocation behavior with outputs ranging from no statistically significant allocation changes to widespread conflict in the environment, depending on the initial conditions and the nature of the scenarios. Overall the results support previous empirical findings that the main link between resource scarcity and conflict is through changes in the distribution of resources rather than their overall availability.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassani-Mahmooei, Behrooz & Parris, Brett W., 2013. "Resource scarcity, effort allocation and environmental security: An agent-based theoretical approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 183-192.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:30:y:2013:i:c:p:183-192
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2012.08.020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Behrooz Hassani-Mahmooei, Behrooz & Vahabi, Mehrdad, 2013. "Identity, Authority and Evolution of Order: the trajectory of dueling simulated," MPRA Paper 48219, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Jul 2013.
    2. Belasen, Ariel R. & Kutan, Ali M. & Belasen, Alan T., 2017. "The impact of unsuccessful pirate attacks on financial markets: Evidence in support of Leeson's reputation-building theory," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 344-351.
    3. Vahabi, Mehrdad & Hassani-Mahmooei, Behrooz, 2016. "The role of identity and authority from anarchy to order: Insights from modeling the trajectory of dueling in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 57-72.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agent-based model; Economic effort allocation; Conflict; Environmental security;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts

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