agent-based models

Scott E. Page
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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Agent-based models consist of purposeful agents who interact in space and time and whose micro-level interactions create emergent patterns. Agent-based models consist not of real people but of computational objects that interact according to rules. The four primary features of agent-based models – learning, networks, externalities, and heterogeneity – though previously far from neoclassical economics, have become part of the mainstream. Agent-based models allow us to consider richer environments that include these features with greater fidelity than do existing techniques. They occupy a middle ground between stark, dry rigorous mathematics and loose, possibly inconsistent, descriptive accounts.
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See Also

I would like to thank Ken Kollman and Rick Riolo for comments on earlier drafts.
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How to cite this article

Page, Scott E. "agent-based models." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 16 January 2018 <> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0016

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