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Complex Methods in Economics: An Example of Behavioral Heterogeneity in House Prices


  • Wilko Bolt
  • Maria Demertzis
  • Cees Diks
  • Marco van der Leij


We show how simple statistical techniques for capturing critical transitions used in natural sciences, fail to capture economic regime shifts. This implies that we need to use model-based approaches to identify critical transitions. We apply a heterogenous agents model in a standard housing market model to show that these family of models generate non-linear responses that can capture such transitions. We estimate this model for the United States and the Netherlands and find that first, the data does capture the heterogeneity in expectations and, second, that the qualitative predictions of such nonlinear models are very different to standard linear benchmarks. It would be important to identify which approach can serve best as an early warning indicator.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilko Bolt & Maria Demertzis & Cees Diks & Marco van der Leij, 2011. "Complex Methods in Economics: An Example of Behavioral Heterogeneity in House Prices," DNB Working Papers 329, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:329

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Darius Kulikauskas, 2015. "Measuring fundamental housing prices in the Baltic States: empirical approach," ERES eres2015_31, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
    2. repec:eee:dyncon:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:21-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kukacka, Jiri & Barunik, Jozef, 2017. "Estimation of financial agent-based models with simulated maximum likelihood," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 21-45.

    More about this item


    critical transitions; heterogenous agents model; bounded rationality; housing prices;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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