Economics at your fingertips  

Entrepreneurship, search costs, and ecological rationality in an agent-based economy

James Caton ()
Additional contact information
James Caton: George Mason University

The Review of Austrian Economics, 2017, vol. 30, issue 1, 107-130

Abstract: Abstract Since Coase’s paper on the firm, transaction costs have occupied much attention as a field of economic inquiry. Yet, with few exceptions, neoclassical theory has failed to integrate transaction costs into its core. The dominant mode of theorizing depends upon Brouwer fixed points which cannot integrate transaction costs in more than a superficial manner. Agent-based modeling presents an opportunity for researchers to investigate the nature of transaction costs and integrate them into the core of economic theory. To the extent that transaction costs reduce economic efficiency, they provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to earn a profit by reducing these costs. We employ an extension of Epstein and Axtell’s (1996) Sugarscape to demonstrate this point one type of transaction costs: search costs. When agents do not face the cost of finding a trading partner, the system quickly reaches a steady state with tightly constrained prices regardless of agent production strategies. When search costs are present, entrepreneurs may use competing strategies for production and exchange that allow them to earn higher revenues than they would earn otherwise. These cost reducing innovations tend to promote concatenate coordination (Klein 2012). The agent’s production strategies represent technology in the form of mental models (Denzau and North 1994) that shape agent action with regard to the agent’s environment. The success of these are dependent on their ability to overcome search costs. The average profit, market rate of return, earned by each of these mental structures tends to equalize as a result of competition.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Agent-based computational economics; Catallaxy; Ecological rationality; Search costs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L26 C63 D81 D83 D84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... ce/journal/11138/PS2

Access Statistics for this article

The Review of Austrian Economics is currently edited by Peter Boettke and Christopher Coyne

More articles in The Review of Austrian Economics from Springer, Society for the Development of Austrian Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2018-02-15
Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:30:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11138-016-0351-2