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Rational Heuristics ? Expectations and behaviors in Evolving Economies with Heterogeneous interacting agents

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  • Giovanni Dosi

    (Laboratory of Economics and Management)

  • Mauro Napoletano

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

  • Andrea Roventini

    (Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM))

  • Joseph Stiglitz

    (Columbia Business School)

  • Tania Treibich

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

Abstract

We analyze the individual and macroeconomic impacts of heterogeneous expectations and action rules within an agent-based model populated by heterogeneous, interacting firms. Agents have to cope with a complex evolving economy characterized by deep uncertainty resulting from technical change, imperfect information and coordination hurdles. In these circumstances, we find that neither individual nor macroeconomic dynamics improve when agents replace myopic expectations with less naïve learning rules. In fact, more sophisticated, e.g. recursive least squares (RLS) expectations produce less accurate individual forecasts and also considerably worsen the performance of the economy. Finally, we experiment with agents that adjust simply to technological shocks, and we show that individual and aggregate performances dramatically degrade. Our results suggest that fast and frugal robust heuristics are not a second-best option: rather they are “rational” in macroeconomic environments with heterogeneous, interacting agents and changing “fundamentals”.

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  • Giovanni Dosi & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini & Joseph Stiglitz & Tania Treibich, 2017. "Rational Heuristics ? Expectations and behaviors in Evolving Economies with Heterogeneous interacting agents," Sciences Po publications 32, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/31dhti786q9k0q2i04klh6no54
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    1. Lamperti, F. & Dosi, G. & Napoletano, M. & Roventini, A. & Sapio, A., 2018. "Faraway, So Close: Coupled Climate and Economic Dynamics in an Agent-based Integrated Assessment Model," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 315-339.

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    Keywords

    Complexity; Expectations; Heterogeneity; Heuristics; Learning; Agent based model; Computational economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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