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On economic applications of the genetic algorithm: a model of the cobweb type

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  • Michael Kopel

    (Department of Managerial Economics and Industrial Organization, Vienna University of Technology, Wien, Austria)

  • Herbert Dawid

    () (Department of Management Science, University of Vienna, Br, nnerstrasse 72, A-1210 Wien, Austria)

Abstract

This paper explores the idea of using artificial adaptive agents in economic theory. In particular, we use Genetic Algorithms (GAs) to model the learning behavior of a population of adaptive and boundedly rational agents interacting in an economic system. We analyze the behavior of a GA in two versions of a model of the cobweb-type, one in which firms make only quantity choices, and the other one in which firms first decide to exit or to stay in the market, and subsequently decide how much to produce. We present simulations with different coding schemes and interpret the rather surprising differences between the results for different setups by employing the mathematical theory for GAs with state-dependent fitness functions. In particular, we explain the relationship between coding and convergence properties of GAs.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Kopel & Herbert Dawid, 1998. "On economic applications of the genetic algorithm: a model of the cobweb type," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 297-315.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:8:y:1998:i:3:p:297-315
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ludo Waltman & Nees Eck & Rommert Dekker & Uzay Kaymak, 2011. "Economic modeling using evolutionary algorithms: the effect of a binary encoding of strategies," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, pages 737-756.
    2. Graupner, Marten, 2011. "The Spatial Agent-based Competition Model (SpAbCoM)
      [Das räumliche agenten-basierte Wettbewerbsmodell SpAbCoM]
      ," IAMO Discussion Papers 135, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
    3. Michael Maschek, 2016. "Economic Modeling Using Evolutionary Algorithms: The Influence of Mutation on the Premature Convergence Effect," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 297-319, February.
    4. Safarzynska, Karolina & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2011. "Beyond replicator dynamics: Innovation-selection dynamics and optimal diversity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 229-245, May.
    5. Karolina Safarzyńska & Jeroen Bergh, 2010. "Evolutionary models in economics: a survey of methods and building blocks," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 329-373, June.
    6. Thomas Riechmann, 2006. "Cournot or Walras? Long-Run Results in Oligopoly Games," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(4), pages 702-720, December.
    7. Mattheos Protopapas & Francesco Battaglia & Elias Kosmatopoulo, 2008. "Coevolutionary Genetic Algorithms for Establishing Nash Equilibrium in Symmetric Cournot Games," Working Papers 004, COMISEF.
    8. Domenico Colucci & Vincenzo Valori, 2011. "Can Endogenous Participation Explain Price Volatility? Evidence from an Agent-Based Cobweb Model," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 38(3), pages 425-437, October.
    9. Michael Neugart & Jan Tuinstra, 2003. "Endogenous fluctuations in the demand for education," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 29-51, February.
    10. Sylvie Geisendorf, 2011. "Internal selection and market selection in economic Genetic Algorithms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(5), pages 817-841, December.
    11. Smith, Peter, 2004. "Reworking the Standard Model of Competitive Markets: The Role of Fuzzy Logic and Genetic Algorithms in Modelling Complex Non-Linear Economic System," General Discussion Papers 30569, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cobweb model ; Genetic algorithms ; Learning ; Artificial economic agents;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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