Agent-Based Computational Economics: Overview and Brief History

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Date
2022-05-12
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Tesfatsion, Leigh
Professor Emeritus
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

Dates of Existence
1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Abstract
Scientists and engineers seek to understand how real-world systems work and could work better. Any modeling method devised for such purposes must simplify reality. Ideally, however, the modeling method should be flexible as well as logically rigorous; it should permit model simplifications to be appropriately tailored for the specific purpose at hand. Flexibility and logical rigor have been the two key goals motivating the development of Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE), a completely agent-based modeling method characterized by seven specific modeling principles. This perspective provides an overview of ACE, a brief history of its development, and its role within a broader spectrum of experiment-based modeling methods.
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