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Was Hayek an Ace?

In order to address the question whether Hayek might have been an Agent-based Computational Economist (ACE) avant-la-lettre, we consider an ACE model concerning the phenomenon of information contagion. Alongside increasing returns, network externalities, and information cascades, information contagion has been presented in the literature as an explanation for particular patterns of macrobehavior that may seem at odds with the underlying micromotives. But whereas these other explanations have been shown to have a proper microfoundation, information contagion has remained a phenomenon that seemed to occur only when certain ad hoc rules of thumb for individual behavior are assumed. We show how information-contagious behavior can emerge in a coevolutionary process of interacting adaptive agents, how this is related to various Hayekian themes, and how ACE research in general is an application of Hayek's methodological insights.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 403.

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Date of creation: May 1999
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp403
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  1. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
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  13. Gode, Dhananjay K & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Allocative Efficiency of Markets with Zero-Intelligence Traders: Market as a Partial Substitute for Individual Rationality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 119-37, February.
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