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The Methodological Status of Agent-Based Simulations

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  • Roberto Leombruni

Abstract

In this paper I give a tentative assessment of the methodological status of agent based simulations. I first show under which conditions ABS can be a complement to traditional modelling. I then consider whether they can be held as a sound methodology of their own. Various topics relevant to the argument are briefly discussed, such as the forecasting role of theories, the realism of assumptions, Hayek’s insights on economics methodology. I cast the arguments given into some results of modern theory of abductive inference, providing a framework that helps clarify the logical status of simulations, and gives some hints on how to foster their role as a self sustained tool for economic reasoning.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Leombruni, 2002. "The Methodological Status of Agent-Based Simulations," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 19, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:19
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    File URL: http://www.laboratoriorevelli.it/_pdf/wp19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2002. "Was Hayek an Ace?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 811-840, April.
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    3. Leigh Tesfatsion, 2000. "Agent-Based Computational Economics: A Brief Guide to the Literature," Computational Economics 0004001, EconWPA.
    4. Nigel Gilbert & Pietro Terna, 2000. "How to build and use agent-based models in social science," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 1(1), pages 57-72, March.
    5. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    6. Paul J. McNulty, 1968. "Economic Theory and the Meaning of Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 639-656.
    7. Machlup, Fritz, 1978. "Methodology of Economics and Other Social Sciences," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780124645509 edited by Shell, Karl.
    8. Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521415019.
    9. Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521425230.
    10. Paul J. McNulty, 1967. "A Note on the History of Perfect Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 395-395.
    11. 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, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matteo Richiardi & Roberto Leombruni & Nicole J. Saam & Michele Sonnessa, 2006. "A Common Protocol for Agent-Based Social Simulation," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 9(1), pages 1-15.
    2. Giorgio Fagiolo & Paul Windrum & Alessio Moneta, 2006. "Empirical Validation of Agent Based Models: A Critical Survey," LEM Papers Series 2006/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Matteo Richiardi, 2003. "The Promises and Perils of Agent-Based Computational Economics," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 29, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    4. Paul Windrum & Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessio Moneta, 2007. "Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models: Alternatives and Prospects," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 10(2), pages 1-8.
    5. Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessio Moneta & Paul Windrum, 2007. "A Critical Guide to Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models in Economics: Methodologies, Procedures, and Open Problems," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 195-226, October.

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