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E Pluribus Unum: Macroeconomic Modelling for Multi-agent Economies

Author

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  • Assenza, T.

    () (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

  • Delli Gatti, D.

    (Catholic University of Milan)

Abstract

From the point of view of the average macroeconomist, agent based modelling has an obvious drawback: It makes impossible to think in aggregate terms. The modeller, in fact, can reconstruct aggregate variables only "from the bottom up" by summing the individual quantities. As a consequence the interpretation of the trasmission mechanism of shocks is somehow arbitrary. We propose a modelling strategy which reduces the dimensionality of an agent based framework by replacing the actual distributional features (in our model: the distribution of financial conditions) with the first and second moments of the distribution itself. The main message is that the difficulty of thinking in macroeconomic terms when dealing with multi-agent economies can be circumvented by means of an appropriate aggregation procedure which we label the Modified-Representative Agent such that the distribution of agents' characteristics can be approximated by (at least) the (first and second) moments of the distribution. The moments of the distribution play the role of macroeconomic variables. We put this strategy at work in a model of the financial accelerator in which firms' heterogeneous degree of financial robustness affect investment in a bankruptcy risk context (à la Greenwald-Stiglitz).

Suggested Citation

  • Assenza, T. & Delli Gatti, D., 2012. "E Pluribus Unum: Macroeconomic Modelling for Multi-agent Economies," CeNDEF Working Papers 12-08, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:ams:ndfwpp:12-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerard Ballot & Antoine Mandel & Annick Vignes, 2015. "Agent-based modeling and economic theory: where do we stand?," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 10(2), pages 199-220, October.
    2. Roos, Michael W. M., 2015. "The macroeconomics of radical uncertainty," Ruhr Economic Papers 592, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Sylvain Barde & Sander van der Hoog, 2017. "An empirical validation protocol for large-scale agent-based models," Studies in Economics 1712, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    4. Grilli, Ruggero & Tedeschi, Gabriele & Gallegati, Mauro, 2014. "Bank interlinkages and macroeconomic stability," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 72-88.
    5. Gualdi, Stanislao & Tarzia, Marco & Zamponi, Francesco & Bouchaud, Jean-Philippe, 2015. "Tipping points in macroeconomic agent-based models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 29-61.
    6. Fabio Ghironi, 2018. "Macro needs micro," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1-2), pages 195-218.
    7. Giovanni Dosi & Andrea Roventini, 2017. "Agent-Based Macroeconomics and Classical Political Economy: Some Italian Roots," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(3), pages 261-283, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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