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Using genetic algorithms to model the evolution of heterogenous beliefs


  • James Bullard
  • John Duffy


Genetic algorithms have been used by economists to model the process by which a population of heterogeneous agents learn how to optimize a given objective. However, most general equilibrium models in use today presume that agents already know how to optimize. If agents face any uncertainty, it is typically with regard to their expectations about the future. In this paper, we show how a genetic algorithm can be used to model the process by which a population of agents with heterogeneous beliefs learns how to form rational expectation forecasts. We retain the assumption that agents optimally solve their maximization problem at each date given their beliefs at each date. Agents initially lack the ability to form rational expectations forecasts and have, instead, heterogeneous beliefs about the future. Using a genetic algorithm to model the evolution of these beliefs, we find that our population of artificial adaptive agents eventually coordinates their beliefs so as to achieve a rational expectations equilibrium of the model. We also report the results of a number of computational experiments that were performed using our genetic algorithm model.
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  • James Bullard & John Duffy, 2010. "Using genetic algorithms to model the evolution of heterogenous beliefs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 550, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:550

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1994. "Expectations and Learning under Alternative Monetary Regimes: An Experimental Approach," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(1), pages 131-162, January.
    2. Bullard James, 1994. "Learning Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 468-485, December.
    3. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1994. "Genetic algorithm learning and the cobweb model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 3-28, January.
    4. Arifovic, Jasmina & Eaton, Curtis, 1995. "Coordination via Genetic Learning," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 8(3), pages 181-203, August.
    5. Routledge, Bryan R, 1999. "Adaptive Learning in Financial Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(5), pages 1165-1202.
    6. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
    7. Bullard, James & Duffy, John, 1998. "A model of learning and emulation with artificial adaptive agents," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-207, February.
    8. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1996. "The Behavior of the Exchange Rate in the Genetic Algorithm and Experimental Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 510-541, June.
    9. Arifovic, Jasmina & Bullard, James & Duffy, John, 1997. "The Transition from Stagnation to Growth: An Adaptive Learning Approach," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 185-209, July.
    10. James B. Bullard & John Duffy, 1995. "On learning and the stability of cycles," Working Papers 1995-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    11. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1995. "Genetic algorithms and inflationary economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 219-243, August.
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