Heuristic learning and the discovery of specialization and exchange

E.O. Kimbrough*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


I develop and calibrate an agent-based model of boundedly rational, adaptive agents in a two-good production and exchange economy to replicate human-subject outcomes in the same eight-person experimental economy. To test agents’ ability to capture human behavior, i extend the model and use its output to make predictions about a second experimental environment in which the group of eight agents is slowly constructed by merging smaller groups. This environment improves human-subject performance in the specialization and exchange task, and commensurate improvement emerges for some parameterizations of the agent-based model. This iterative process yields incremental improvement of decision-level theories about economic discovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-511
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Economic Dynamics & Control
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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