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Peer reviewed Agent-Based Ramsey growth model with endogenous technical progress (ABRam-T)

Aida Sarai Figueroa Alvarez Sarah Wolf Malika Tokpanova | Published Wednesday, February 14, 2024 | Last modified Monday, February 19, 2024

The Agent-Based Ramsey growth model is designed to analyze and test a decentralized economy composed of utility maximizing agents, with a particular focus on understanding the growth dynamics of the system. We consider farms that adopt different investment strategies based on the information available to them. The model is built upon the well-known Ramsey growth model, with the introduction of endogenous technical progress through mechanisms of learning by doing and knowledge spillovers.

This is an extension of the original RAGE model (Dressler et al. 2018), where we add learning capabilities to agents, specifically learning-by-doing and social learning (two processes central to adaptive (co-)management).

The extension module is applied to smallholder farmers’ decision-making - here, a pasture (patch) is the private property of the household (agent) placed on it and there is no movement of the households. Households observe the state of the pasture and their neighrbours to make decisions on how many livestock to place on their pasture every year. Three new behavioural types are created (which cannot be combined with the original ones): E-RO (baseline behaviour), E-LBD (learning-by-doing) and E-RO-SL1 (social learning). Similarly to the original model, these three types can be compared regarding long-term social-ecological performance. In addition, a global strategy switching option (corresponding to double-loop learning) allows users to study how behavioural strategies diffuse in a heterogeneous population of learning and non-learning agents.

An important modification of the original model is that extension agents are heterogeneous in how they deal with uncertainty. This is represented by an agent property, called the r-parameter (household-risk-att in the code). The r-parameter is catch-all for various factors that form an agent’s disposition to act in a certain way, such as: uncertainty in the sensing (partial observability of the resource system), noise in the information received, or an inherent characteristic of the agent, for instance, their risk attitude.

This is a simulation model of an intelligent agent that has the objective to learn sustainable management of a renewable resource, such as a fish stock.

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