What economic agents do: How cognition and interaction lead to emergence and complexity
Kohn (The Cato Journal, 24(3):303–339, 2004) has argued that the neoclassical conception of economics—what he terms the “value paradigm”—has experienced diminishing marginal returns for some time. He suggests a new perspective is emerging—one that gives more import to economic processes and less to end states, one that bases behavior less on axioms and more on laboratory experiments. He calls this the “exchange paradigm”. He further asserts that it is the mathematization of economics that is partially at fault for leading the profession down a methodological path that has become something of a dead end. Here I suggest that the nascent research program Kohn has rightly spotted is better understood as distinct from its precursors because it is intrinsically dynamic, permits agent actions out of equilibrium, and treats such actions as occurring within networks. Analyzing economic processes having these characteristics is mathematically very difficult and I concur with Kohn’s appeal to computational approaches. However, I claim it is so-called multi-agent systems and agent-based models that are the way forward within the “exchange paradigm,” and not the cellular automata (Wolfram, A new kind of science, 2002) that Kohn seems to promote. Agent systems are generalizations of cellular automata and support the natural abstraction of individual economic agents as software agents. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
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.:
- Meir Kohn, 2004. "Value and Exchange," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 24(3), pages 303-339, Fall.
- Herbert A. Simon, 1978. "On How to Decide What to Do," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 494-507, Autumn.
- Robert Axtell, 2005.
"The Complexity of Exchange,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(504), pages F193-F210, 06.
- Blume Lawrence E., 1995.
"The Statistical Mechanics of Best-Response Strategy Revision,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 111-145, November.
- Lawrence Blume, 1993. "The Statistical Mechanics of Best-Response Strategy Revision," Game Theory and Information 9307001, EconWPA, revised 26 Jan 1994.
- Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1997.
"How Economists Can Get Alife,"
Staff General Research Papers
1685, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Lux, Thomas, 1998. "The socio-economic dynamics of speculative markets: interacting agents, chaos, and the fat tails of return distributions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 143-165, January.
- Tesfatsion, Leigh S., 2002. "Agent-Based Computational Economics: Growing Economies from the Bottom Up," Staff General Research Papers 5075, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- L. Blume, 2010.
"The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
488, David K. Levine.
- Blume Lawrence E., 1993. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 387-424, July.
- Kirman, Alan, 1993. "Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 137-56, February.
- Blake LeBaron, 1999.
"Evolution and Time Horizons in an Agent-Based Stock Market,"
Computing in Economics and Finance 1999
1342, Society for Computational Economics.
- LeBaron, Blake, 2001. "Evolution And Time Horizons In An Agent-Based Stock Market," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 225-254, April.
- Colin F. Camerer, 1997. "Progress in Behavioral Game Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 167-188, Fall.
- Joshua M. Epstein & Robert L. Axtell, 1996. "Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550253, June.
- Howitt, Peter & Clower, Robert, 2000. "The emergence of economic organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 55-84, January.
- Foley Duncan K., 1994. "A Statistical Equilibrium Theory of Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 321-345, April.
- Dan Ashlock & Mark D. Smucker & E. Ann Stanley & Leigh Tesfatsion, 1995.
"Preferential Partner Selection in an Evolutionary Study of Prisoner's Dilemma,"
Game Theory and Information
9501002, EconWPA, revised 20 Jan 1995.
- Ashlock, Daniel & Smucker, Mark D. & Stanley, E. Ann & Tesfatsion, Leigh S., 1996. "Preferential Partner Selection in an Evolutionary Study of Prisoner's Dilemma," Staff General Research Papers 1687, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Hahn, Robert W, 1989. "Economic Prescriptions for Environmental Problems: How the Patient Followed the Doctor's Orders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 95-114, Spring.
- Ralph Bradburd & Stephen Sheppard & Joseph Bergeron & Eric Engler, 2006.
"The Impact Of Rent Controls In Non-Walrasian Markets: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach,"
Journal of Regional Science,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 455-491.
- Ralph Bradburd & Stephen Sheppard & Joseph Bergeron & Eric Engler, 2004. "The Impact of Rent Controls in Non-Walrasian Markets: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-05, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised May 2005.
- repec:cto:journl:v:24:y:2004:i:3:p: is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:20:y:2007:i:2:p:105-122. 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: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.