Emergence, Equilibrium, and Agent-Based Modeling: Updating James Buchanan’s Democratic Political Economy

26 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2018

See all articles by Abigail Devereaux

Abigail Devereaux

George Mason University, Department of Economics

Richard E. Wagner

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 31, 2018

Abstract

Nicholas Vriend (2002) asked whether F.A. Hayek was an “ace,” and answered affirmatively. By “ace,” Vriend meant someone who worked with agent-based modeling. To be sure, Hayek could not have worked with agent-based models because that platform did not exist when Hayek was developing his ideas about the distribution and use of knowledge in society. All the same, Vriend explained convincingly that Hayek could have made good use of the agent-based platform had it been available in the 1930s. To similar effect, we argue in this paper that James Buchanan could have made good use of agent-based modeling to carry forward his ideas about the value of taking an emergent approach to the explanation of economic processes.

Keywords: equilibrium and emergence; commons governance; agent-based computational economics; open-ended modeling; debate vs. discussion in political economy; stipulative vs. generative modeling

JEL Classification: B25, B41, B52, D71, D80, P16

Suggested Citation

Devereaux, Abigail and Wagner, Richard E., Emergence, Equilibrium, and Agent-Based Modeling: Updating James Buchanan’s Democratic Political Economy (August 31, 2018). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 18-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3241875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3241875

Abigail Devereaux

George Mason University, Department of Economics ( email )

Fairfax, VA
United States

Richard E. Wagner (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
334 Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
(703) 993-1132 (Phone)

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