Computational Model Library

Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) threaten smallholder livelihoods globally. Despite more than a decade of research on the LSLA phenomenon, it remains a challenge to identify governance conditions that may foster beneficial outcomes for both smallholders and investors. One potentially promising strategy toward this end is contract farming (CF), which more directly involves smallholder households in commodity production than conditions of acquisition and displacement.

To improve understanding of how CF may mediate the outcomes of LSLAs, we developed an agent-based model of smallholder livelihoods, which we used as a virtual laboratory to experiment on a range of hypothetical LSLA and CF implementation scenarios.

The model represents a community of smallholder households in a mixed crop-livestock system. Each agent farms their own land and manages a herd of livestock. Agents can also engage in off-farm employment, for which they earn a fixed wage and compete for a limited number of jobs. The principal model outputs include measures of household food security (representing access to a single, staple food crop) and agricultural production (of a single, staple food crop).

Knowledge Based Economy (KBE) is an artificial economy where firms placed in geographical space develop original knowledge, imitate one another and eventually recombine pieces of knowledge. In KBE, consumer value arises from the capability of certain pieces of knowledge to bridge between existing items (e.g., Steve Jobs illustrated the first smartphone explaining that you could make a call with it, but also listen to music and navigate the Internet). Since KBE includes a mechanism for the generation of value, it works without utility functions and does not need to model market exchanges.

Peer reviewed An agent-based model for brain drain

Furkan Gursoy Bertan Badur | Published Wed Mar 3 08:04:00 2021 | Last modified Fri Mar 12 09:40:13 2021

An agent-based model for the emigration of highly-skilled labour.

We hypothesise that there are two main factors that impact the decision and ability to move abroad: desire to maximise individual utility and network effects. Accordingly, several factors play role in brain drain such as the overall economic and social differences between the home and host countries, people’s ability and capacity to obtain good jobs and start a life abroad, the barriers of moving abroad, and people’s social network who are already working abroad.

The agent-based perspective allows insights on how behaviour of firms, guided by simple economic rules on the micro-level, is dynamically influenced by a complex environment in regard to the assumed relocation, decision-making hypotheses. Testing various variables sensitive to initial conditions, increased environmental regulations targeting global trade and upward shifting wage levels in formerly offshore production locations have shown to be driving and inhibiting mechanisms of this socio-technical system. The dynamic demonstrates a shift from predominantly cited economic reasoning for relocation strategies towards sustainability aspects, pressingly changing these realities on an environmental and social dimension. The popular debate is driven by increased environmental awareness and the proclaimed fear of robots killing jobs. In view of reshoring shaping the political agenda, interest in the phenomenon has recently been fuelled by the rise of populism and protectionism.

Industrial location theory has not emphasized environmental concerns, and research on industrial symbiosis has not emphasized workforce housing concerns. This article brings jobs, housing, and environmental considerations together in an agent-based model of industrial
and household location. It shows that four classic outcomes emerge from the interplay of a relatively small number of explanatory factors: the isolated enterprise with commuters; the company town; the economic agglomeration; and the balanced city.


Ruth Meyer | Published Fri Oct 12 18:08:45 2018

The Labour Markets and Ethnic Segmentation (LaMESt) Model is a model of a simplified labour market, where only jobs of the lowest skill level are considered. Immigrants of two different ethnicities (“Latino”, “Asian”) compete with a majority (“White”) and minority (“Black”) native population for these jobs. The model’s purpose is to investigate the effect of ethnically homogeneous social networks on the emergence of ethnic segmentation in such a labour market. It is inspired by Waldinger & Lichter’s study of immigration and the social organisation of labour in 1990’s Los Angeles.

Takács, K. and Squazzoni, F. 2015. High Standards Enhance Inequality in Idealized Labor Markets. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 18(4), 2,
We built a simple model of an idealized labor market, in which there is no objective difference in average quality between groups and hiring decisions are not biased in favor of any particular group. Our results show that inequality in employment emerges necessarily also in such idealized situations due to the limited supply of high quality individuals and asymmetric information. Inequalities are exacerbated when employers have high standards and keep only the best workers in house. We found that ambitious workers get higher quality jobs even if ambition does not correlate or even negatively correlates with internal quality. Our findings help to corroborate empirical findings on higher employment discrepancies in high rather than low status jobs.


Kehinde Salau | Published Tue Dec 16 11:24:34 2008 | Last modified Sat Apr 27 20:18:51 2013

The purpose of the model presented by Glance et al is to study the ‘contribute vs. free-ride’ dilemma present in organizations.

The Travel-tour case study

Christophe Sibertin-Blanc Françoise Adreit Joseph El Gemayel | Published Sun May 19 17:52:35 2013 | Last modified Fri Jun 14 08:56:29 2013

This model describes and analyses the Travel-Tour Case study.

ADAM: Agent-based Demand and Assignment Model

D Levinson | Published Mon Aug 29 17:37:03 2011 | Last modified Sat Apr 27 20:18:19 2013

The core algorithm is an agent-based model, which simulates travel patterns on a network based on microscopic decision-making by each traveler.

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