I have to admit that I've been dwelling on Fernando Esponda's comments on agent-based modelling and the video of Josh Epstein that I subsequently posted. First and foremost, this type of economic simulation is technically referred to as Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE). I've spent a bit of time researching ACE over the past few days and I've collected the following links for those interested in finding out more about this field.
- The Scholarpedia entry on ACE identifies the four objectives of the discipline as empirical understanding, normative understanding, qualitative insight and theory generation and methodological advancement. The page also contains links to several related research endeavours.
- Jamel (thumbnail pictured above) is an online applet through which a user can set up initial conditions for a simulated economy and then introduce shocks. The tool then provides a real time view of the effects of these shocks on the system, "observing the main macroeconomics indicators (income distribution, unemployment, inflation, money velocity, inventory levels, capacity utilization, bankruptcies...)." For more examples of ACE applications see Leigh Tesfatsion's extensive list of Software and Toolkits currently in use within the field.
- Artificial Economics 2006 appears to be a key ACE conference from the past few years. Note the presentation archives which contain downloadable slideshows from the proceedings.
- The Society for Computational Economics is an organization that serves as a hub to the ACE community. Visit their site for info on related conferences and publications and to tap into a global network of research groups.