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Learning Algorithms in a Decentralized General Equilibrium Model

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  • James Bruce

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Abstract

A model is developed in which economic agents learn to make price-setting, price-response, and resource allocation decisions in decentralized markets where all information and interaction is local. Computer simulation shows that it is possible for agents to act almost as if they had the additional necessary information to define and solve a standard optimization problem. Their behaviour gives rise endogenously to phenomena resembling Adam Smith's invisible hand. The results also indicate that agents must engage in some form of price comparison for decentralized markets to clear--otherwise there is no incentive for firms to respond to excess supply by lowering prices. This suggests that agent-based models with decentralized interaction risk untenable results if price-response decisions are made without being first directed toward the most favourable local price.

Suggested Citation

  • James Bruce, 2003. "Learning Algorithms in a Decentralized General Equilibrium Model," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-02, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2003-02
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2003-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruce, Donald, 2000. "Effects of the United States tax system on transitions into self-employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 545-574, September.
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    3. Jacobsen, Joyce P., 1999. "Labor force participation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 597-610.
    4. Brusentsev, Vera, 2002. "Cross-National Variation in the Labor Market Participation of Married Women in Australia, Canada, and the United States of America," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(241), pages 224-231, June.
    5. Stephen P. Jenkins & Christian Schluter, 2003. "Why Are Child Poverty Rates Higher in Britain than in Germany?: A Longitudinal Perspective," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
    6. Barrow, Lisa, 1999. "An Analysis of Women's Return-to-Work Decisions following First Birth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 432-451, July.
    7. Dean R. Hyslop, 1999. "State Dependence, Serial Correlation and Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Labor Force Participation of Married Women," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1255-1294, November.
    8. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jemkins, 2002. "Who Stays Poor? Who Becomes Poor? Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 60-67, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Howitt, Peter & Özak, Ömer, 2014. "Adaptive consumption behavior," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 37-61.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium

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