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The largely dominant meritocratic paradigm of highly competitive Western cultures is rooted on the belief that success is due mainly, if not exclusively, to personal qualities such as talent, intelligence, skills, smartness, efforts, willfulness, hard work or risk taking. Sometimes, we are willing to admit that a certain degree of luck could also play a role in achieving significant material success. But, as a matter of fact, it is rather common to underestimate the importance of external forces in individual successful stories. It is very well known that intelligence (or, more in general, talent and personal qualities) exhibits a Gaussian distribution among the population, whereas the distribution of wealth - often considered a proxy of success - follows typically a power law (Pareto law), with a large majority of poor people and a very small number of billionaires. Such a discrepancy between a Normal distribution of inputs, with a typical scale (the average talent or intelligence), and the scale invariant distribution of outputs, suggests that some hidden ingredient is at work behind the scenes. In a recent paper, with the help of this very simple agent-based model realized with NetLogo, we suggest that such an ingredient is just randomness. In particular, we show that, if it is true that some degree of talent is necessary to be successful in life, almost never the most talented people reach the highest peaks of success, being overtaken by mediocre but sensibly luckier individuals. As to our knowledge, this counterintuitive result - although implicitly suggested between the lines in a vast literature - is quantified here for the first time. It sheds new light on the effectiveness of assessing merit on the basis of the reached level of success and underlines the risks of distributing excessive honors or resources to people who, at the end of the day, could have been simply luckier than others. With the help of this model, several policy hypotheses are also addressed and compared to show the most efficient strategies for public funding of research in order to improve meritocracy, diversity and innovation.
The model represents a set of social actors engaged into a collegiate (composed of representants of civil society and public sector) to manage the Southern Rural Territory of Sergipe (SRTS), created by two territorial public policies, the National Program for the Sustainable Development of Rural Territories (PRONAT) and the Program Territories of Citizenship (PTC) which aim at balancing power relations between social actors of Rural Territories. The main gola of these public policies is to empower the civil society engaged in the territory to enable them to negotiate with the traditional power (mainly majors). It was designed two models of the SRTS, one that represents the situation in 2012, and other that represents the social interdependencies in 2017. For each period it is possible to measure the capability and power of each modeled social actor and see whether it is observed the empowerment of the civil society or not.
The model’s purpose is to provide a potential explanation for the emergence, sustenance and decline of unpopular norms based on pluralistic ignorance on a social network.
A first version of a model that describes how coalitions are formed during open, networked innovation
MUSA is an ABM that simulates the commuting sector in USA. A multilevel validation was implemented. Social network with a social-circle structure included. Two types of policies have been tested: market-based and preference-change.
This model illustrates a positive ‘growth’ feedback loop in which the areal extent of an entity increases through time.
This work aims at describing and simulating the (social) game around the production of potato seeds in Venezuela. It shows the effect of the identification of some actors with the production of native potato seeds (e.g., Venezuelan State´s low ident)
The model, presented here, is a re-implementation of the Pepper and Smuts’ model : - Pepper, J.W. and B.B. Smuts. 2000. “The evolution of cooperation in an ecological context: an agent-based model”. Pp. 45-76 in T.A. Kohler and G.J. Gumerman, eds. Dynamics of human and primate societies: agent-based modeling of social and spatial processes. Oxford University Press, Oxford. - Pepper, J.W. and B.B. Smuts. 2002. “Assortment through Environmental Feedback”. American Naturalist, 160: 205-213 […]