Getting the best of both worlds? Developing complementary equation-based and agent-based models Articles uri icon

authors

  • GRÄBNER, CLAUDIUS
  • BALE, CATHERINE S.E.
  • FURTADO, BERNARDO ALVES
  • ALVAREZ-PEREIRA, BRAIS
  • GENTILE, JAMES E.
  • HENDERSON, HEATH
  • LIPARI, FRANCESCA

publication date

  • November 2017

start page

  • 763

end page

  • 782

issue

  • 53

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0927-7099

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1572-9974

abstract

  • We argue that building agent-based and equation-based versions of the same theoretical model is a fruitful way of gaining insights into real-world phenomena. We use the epistemological concept of 'models as isolations and surrogate systems' as the philosophical underpinning of this argument. In particular, we show that agent-based and equation-based approaches align well when used simultaneously and, contrary to some common misconceptions, should be considered complements rather than substitutes. We illustrate the usefulness of the approach by examining a model of the long-run relationship between economic development and inequality (i.e., the Kuznets hypothesis).

subjects

  • Mathematics

keywords

  • agent-based models, epistemology, equation-based models, economic; methodology, social simulation