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Agent-Based Models in Economics
A Toolkit


  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108414999

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About the Authors
  • In contrast to mainstream economics, complexity theory conceives the economy as a complex system of heterogeneous interacting agents characterised by limited information and bounded rationality. Agent Based Models (ABMs) are the analytical and computational tools developed by the proponents of this emerging methodology. Aimed at students and scholars of contemporary economics, this book includes a comprehensive toolkit for agent-based computational economics, now quickly becoming the new way to study evolving economic systems. Leading scholars in the field explain how ABMs can be applied fruitfully to many real-world economic examples and represent a great advancement over mainstream approaches. The essays discuss the methodological bases of agent-based approaches and demonstrate step-by-step how to build, simulate and analyse ABMs and how to validate their outputs empirically using the data. They also present a wide set of applications of these models to key economic topics, including the business cycle, labour markets, and economic growth.

    • Applies the major new theory of agent-based modelling to real-world economic topics
    • Accessibly written but rigourous
    • Edited by leading figures in the field
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Some 25 years ago, Frank Hahn a leading economic theorist said, '… wildly complex systems need simulating … while there will be work for the computer scientist, I very much doubt that economists will be able to establish general propositions in any but very special examples'. Economists have reacted by saying 'show us an alternative'. This book does just that. It provides the elements of an alternative computational approach in which aggregate phenomena such as crises do not appear from the blue, but emerge from the interaction between simple but heterogeneous agents.' Alan Kirman, University of Aix-Marseille III

    'The authors conceive of economies as complex systems of heterogeneous interacting agents with bounded rationality and limited information, and they view agent-based modeling as a necessary tool for the exploration of such systems. In this book the authors provide a comprehensive introduction to agent-based modeling. Although macroeconomic applications are stressed, the coverage of topics such as rationality, behavior, expectations, and learning will be of value for many other applications as well. A particularly welcome aspect of the book is its attention to historical antecedents and its inclusion of chapters devoted to empirical validation and estimation issues.' Leigh Tesfatsion, Iowa State University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108414999
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Agent-based computational economics: what, why, when
    3. Agent-based models as recursive systems
    4. Rationality, behaviour and expectations
    5. Agents' behaviour and learning
    6. Interaction
    7. The agent-based experiment
    8. Empirical validation of agent-based models
    9. Estimation of agent-based models
    10. Epilogue.

  • Editors

    Domenico Delli Gatti, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano
    Domenico Delli Gatti is Economics Professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Department of Economics and Finance. He is Director of the Complexity Lab in Economics. His research interests focus on the role of financial factors (firms' and banks' financial fragility) in business fluctuations. Together with Mauro Gallegati he has provided important contributions to agent based macroeconomics in the book Macroeconomics from the Bottom Up (2013). He has published extensively in high ranking journals and is editor of the Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination.

    Giorgio Fagiolo, Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna, Pisa
    Giorgio Fagiolo is Professor of Economics at the Institute of Economics, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa. His research interests include agent-based computational economics; empirics and theory of economic networks; and the statistical properties of microeconomic and macroeconomic dynamics. His papers have been published in numerous journals including Science, the Journal of Economic Geography, and the Journal of Applied Econometrics.

    Mauro Gallegati, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona
    Mauro Gallegati is Professor of Economics at the Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, and he has been a visiting professor in several Universities, including Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University. He has published journal papers in numerous subject areas including agent based economics, complexity, economic history, nonlinear mathematics, and econophysics, and he sits on the editorial board of several economic journals and book series.

    Matteo Richiardi, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy
    Matteo Richiardi is Senior Research Officer at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Martin Oxford School, University of Oxford; an assistant professor at the Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy, an associate member of Nuffield College, Oxford; and an affiliate of Collegio Carlo Alberto, Torino. An internationally recognised scholar in both agent-based and dynamic microsimulation modelling, he has also worked as a consultant on labour market policies for the World Bank. He is Chief Editor of the International Journal of Microsimulation, and project leader of JAS-mine, an open source simulation platform for discrete event simulations (

    Alberto Russo, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona
    Alberto Russo is Assistant Professor of Economics at the Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona. His research interests include agent based modelling and complexity economics, inequality and macroeconomic dynamics, and financial fragility and systemic risk. He has published in such recognized journals as International Journal of Forecasting, the Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, and the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. He also serves as guest editor and referee for several international journals.

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