Getting the best of both worlds? Developing complementary equation-based and agent-based models

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We argue that building agent-based and equation-based versions of the same theoretical model is a fruitful way of gaining insights into real-world phenomena. We use the epistemological concept of "models as isolations and surrogate systems" as the philosophical underpinning of this argument. In particular, we show that agent-based and equation-based approaches align well when used simultaneously and, contrary to some common misconceptions, should be considered complements rather than substitutes. We illustrate the usefulness of the approach by examining a model of the long-run relationship between economic development and inequality (i.e., the Kuznets hypothesis).
Agent-based models, Epistemology, Equation-based models, Economic, Methodology, Social simulation
Bibliographic citation
Gräbner, C., Bale, C. S., Furtado, B. A., Alvarez-Pereira, B., Gentile, J. E., Henderson, H., & Lipari, F. (2019). Getting the best of both worlds? Developing complementary Equation-Based and Agent-Based models. Computational Economics, 53(2), 763-782.