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Agent-based computational economics: a methodological appraisal

Agent-based computational economics: a methodological appraisal

Tubaro, Paola (2009) Agent-based computational economics: a methodological appraisal. Working Paper. EconomiX, Nanterre, France. (doi:2009-42)

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Abstract

This paper is an overview of "Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE)", an emerging approach to the study of decentralized market economies, in methodological perspective. It summarizes similarities and differences with respect to conventional economic models, outlines the unique methodological characteristics of this approach, and discusses its implications for economic methodology as a whole. While ACE rejoins the reflection on the unintended social consequences of purposeful individual action which is constitutive of economics as a discipline, the paper shows that it complements state-of the-art research in experimental and behavioral economics. In particular, the methods and techniques of ACE have reinforced the laboratory finding that fundamental economic results rely less on rational choice theory than is usually assumed, and have provided insight into the importance of market structures and rules in addition to individual choice. In addition, ACE has enlarged the range of inter-individual interactions that are of interest for economists. In this perspective, ACE provides the economist‘s toolbox with valuable supplements to existing economic techniques rather than proposing a radical alternative. Despite some open methodological questions, it has potential for better integration into economics in the future.
[Résumé: Cet article est une lecture méthodologique de l‘économie computationelle orientée agents (Agent-based Computational Economics, ACE), une approche nouvelle à l‘étude d‘économies de marché décentralisées. L‘article relève ressemblances et différences par rapport aux modèles conventionnels, appréhende les spécificités méthodologiques de l‘ACE, et en discute les implications pour la méthodologie économique générale. Ayant souligné que l‘ACE se rapproche de la réflexion sur les conséquences non intentionnelles de l‘action individuelle, constitutive de l‘économie comme discipline, le papier montre qu‘il s‘agit d‘un complément à la recherche de pointe en économie expérimentale et comportementale. En particulier, l‘ACE
a renforcé le résultat expérimental que certaines propositions centrales de l‘analyse économique dépendent moins de la théorie du choix rationnel que l‘on ne le croit
habituellement, et a jeté de la lumière sur l‘importance des structures et règles de marché.
L‘ACE a aussi élargi le champ des interactions inter-individuelles ayant un intérêt économique. En ce sens, l‘ACE enrichit la boîte à outils de l‘économiste avec des
compléments aux techniques existantes, plus que proposer une alternative radicale. Malgré des questions méthodologiques ouvertes, l‘ACE a la potentialité de mieux s‘intégrer à la discipline économique à l‘avenir.]

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: agent-based computational economics, economic methodology, experimental economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:09
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/3625

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