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Is the market really a good teacher ?

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  • Pascal Seppecher

    () (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Isabelle Salle

    (CeNDEF - Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance - UvA - Universiteit van Amsterdam, Utrecht School of Economics - Utrecht University [Utrecht])

  • Dany Lang

    (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This paper proposes to model market mechanisms as a collective learning process for firms in a complex adaptive system, namely Jamel, an agent-based, stock-flow consistent macroeconomic model. Inspired by Alchian's (1950) " blanketing shotgun process " idea, our learning model is an ever-adapting process that puts a significant weight on exploration vis-à-vis exploitation. We show that decentralized market selection allows firms to collectively adapt their overall debt strategies to the changes in the macroeconomic environment so that the system sustains itself, but at the cost of recurrent deep downturns. We conclude that, in complex evolving economies, market processes do not lead to the selection of optimal behaviors, as the characterization of successful behaviors itself constantly evolves as a result of the market conditions that these behaviors contribute to shape. Heterogeneity in behavior remains essential to adaptation in such an ever-changing environment. We come to an evolutionary characterization of a crisis, as the point where the evolution of the macroeconomic system becomes faster than the adaptation capabilities of the agents that populate it, and the so far selected performing behaviors suddenly cease to be, and become instead undesirable.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal Seppecher & Isabelle Salle & Dany Lang, 2016. "Is the market really a good teacher ?," Post-Print hal-01314335, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01314335
    DOI: 10.1007/s00191-018-0571-7
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01314335v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pascal Seppecher & Isabelle Salle & Marc Lavoie, 2017. "What drives markups? Evolutionary pricing in an agent-based stock-flow consistent macroeconomic model," CEPN Working Papers 2017-03, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord.
    2. Michalis Nikiforos & Gennaro Zezza, 2017. "Stock-flow Consistent Macroeconomic Models: A Survey," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_891, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Isabelle Salle & Pascal Seppecher, 2017. "Stabilizing an Unstable Complex Economy," CEPN Working Papers hal-01527740, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm adaptation; Learning; Evolutionary Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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