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Why do we need agent-based macroeconomics?

Silvano Cincotti (), Marco Raberto () and Andrea Teglio
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Silvano Cincotti: University of Genova

Review of Evolutionary Political Economy, 2022, vol. 3, issue 1, 5-29

Abstract: Abstract We are entering the third decade of the twenty-first century with profound uncertainties and crucial challenges for the world economy. Phenomena like climate change, digital transformation, migration, demographic changes, and the ongoing COVID pandemic need to be understood and promptly addressed. We argue that the agent-based approach in economics is well suited to tackle these topics, because of its capacity to integrate the “micro” and “macro” dimensions by modelling the network of interactions among heterogeneous economic agents and their aggregate outcomes. This paper explains why the agent-based methodology is needed to overcome the limitations of the neoclassical approach in economics, which has not been able to properly address those challenges. To do so, the paper retraces the main stages of the scientific evolution in a general historical and epistemological perspective, showing how the paradigm of reductionism, which led to extraordinary advances after the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, is less effective when addressing the main challenges ahead. On the other hand, the sciences of chaos theory and complex systems can provide the economic discipline with more suitable instruments to face those challenges. Finally, the paper briefly presents the contributions of the special issue, which use applications of agent-based models to study the main problems of our times.

Keywords: Complexity; Agent-based models; Economics; Economic policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 B22 B59 D50 E00 E70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s43253-022-00071-w

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