IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

John Holland's Legacy in Economics: Artificial Adaptive Economic Agents --From 1986 to the Present in Retrospect


  • Shu-Heng Chen


In this paper, we will give a review on the development of artificial adaptive economic agents in evolutionary economics. The review starts from a 1986 paper by Robert Lucas, a Nobel Prize laureate in economics. From there, we shall see how the idea of economic adaptive agents was enriched and implemented by Holland's two books, Holland (1975) on genetic algorithms and Holland (1986) on classifier systems. We will then examine the impact of Holland's artificial adaptive agents on two different groups of economists. One was led by Thomas Sargent representing New Classical Economics, and the other by Brian Arthur standing for Santa Fe Institute Economics. A moot point brought here is that the spirit of the GA (John Holland's legacy) is lost in mainstream economics, but is reserved in SFI economics. We then shift to Koza's genetic programming and show how John Holland's legacy was further expanded in evolutionary economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Shu-Heng Chen, 2001. "John Holland's Legacy in Economics: Artificial Adaptive Economic Agents --From 1986 to the Present in Retrospect," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 158, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf1:158

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Artificial Adaptive Economic Agents; Building Blocks; Genetic Programming; LISP S-Expression; Evolving Populations of Decision Rules;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C45 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Neural Networks and Related Topics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sce:scecf1:158. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.