Computational Model Library

Peer reviewed BAMERS: Macroeconomic effect of extortion

Alejandro Platas López | Published Mon Mar 23 16:32:53 2020

Inspired by the European project called GLODERS that thoroughly analyzed the dynamics of extortive systems, Bottom-up Adaptive Macroeconomics with Extortion (BAMERS) is a model to study the effect of extortion on macroeconomic aggregates through simulation. This methodology is adequate to cope with the scarce data associated to the hidden nature of extortion, which difficults analytical approaches. As a first approximation, a generic economy with healthy macroeconomics signals is modeled and validated, i.e., moderate inflation, as well as a reasonable unemployment rate are warranteed. Such economy is used to study the effect of extortion in such signals. It is worth mentioning that, as far as is known, there is no work that analyzes the effects of extortion on macroeconomic indicators from an agent-based perspective. Our results show that there is significant effects on some macroeconomics indicators, in particular, propensity to consume has a direct linear relationship with extortion, indicating that people become poorer, which impacts both the Gini Index and inflation. The GDP shows a marked contraction with the slightest presence of extortion in the economic system.

Peer reviewed BAM: The Bottom-up Adaptive Macroeconomics Model

Alejandro Platas López | Published Tue Jan 14 17:04:32 2020

Overview

Purpose

Modeling an economy with stable macro signals, that works as a benchmark for studying the effects of the agent activities, e.g. extortion, at the service of the elaboration of public policies..

System Narrative
How do rebel groups control territory and engage with the local economy during civil war? Charles Tilly’s seminal War and State Making as Organized Crime (1985) posits that the process of waging war and providing governance resembles that of a protection racket, in which aspiring governing groups will extort local populations in order to gain power, and civilians or businesses will pay in order to ensure their own protection. As civil war research increasingly probes the mechanisms that fuel local disputes and the origination of violence, we develop an agent-based simulation model to explore the economic relationship of rebel groups with local populations, using extortion racket interactions to explain the dynamics of rebel fighting, their impact on the economy, and the importance of their economic base of support. This analysis provides insights for understanding the causes and byproducts of rebel competition in present-day conflicts, such as the cases of South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Model Description
The model defines two object types: RebelGroup and Enterprise. A RebelGroup is a group that competes for power in a system of anarchy, in which there is effectively no government control. An Enterprise is a local civilian-level actor that conducts business in this environment, whose objective is to make a profit. In this system, a RebelGroup may choose to extort money from Enterprises in order to support its fighting efforts. It can extract payments from an Enterprise, which fears for its safety if it does not pay. This adds some amount of money to the RebelGroup’s resources, and they can return to extort the same Enterprise again. The RebelGroup can also choose to loot the Enterprise instead. This results in gaining all of the Enterprise wealth, but prompts the individual Enterprise to flee, or leave the model. This reduces the available pool of Enterprises available to the RebelGroup for extortion. Following these interactions the RebelGroup can choose to AllocateWealth, or pay its rebel fighters. Depending on the value of its available resources, it can add more rebels or expel some of those which it already has, changing its size. It can also choose to expand over new territory, or effectively increase its number of potential extorting Enterprises. As a response to these dynamics, an Enterprise can choose to Report expansion to another RebelGroup, which results in fighting between the two groups. This system shows how, faced with economic choices, RebelGroups and Enterprises make decisions in war that impact conflict and violence outcomes.

We present an agent-based model for the sharing economy, in the short-time accommodations market, where peers participating as suppliers and demanders follow simple decision rules about sharing market participation, according to their heterogeneous characteristics. We consider the sharing economy mainly as a peer-to-peer market where the access is preferred to ownership, excluding professional agents using sharing platforms as Airbnb to promote their business.

There is a new type of economic model called a capital exchange model, in which the biophysical economy is abstracted away, and the interaction of units of money is studied. Benatti, Drăgulescu and Yakovenko described at least eight capital exchange models – now referred to collectively as the BDY models – which are replicated as models A through H in EiLab. In recent writings, Yakovenko goes on to show that the entropy of these monetarily isolated systems rises to a maximal possible value as the model approaches steady state, and remains there, in analogy of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. EiLab demonstrates this behaviour. However, it must be noted that we are NOT talking about thermodynamic entropy. Heat is not being modeled – only simple exchanges of cash. But the same statistical formulae apply.

In three unpublished papers and a collection of diary notes and conference presentations (all available with this model), the concept of “entropic index” is defined for use in agent-based models (ABMs), with a particular interest in sustainable economics. Models I and J of EiLab are variations of the BDY model especially designed to study the Maximum Entropy Principle (MEP – model I) and the Maximum Entropy Production Principle (MEPP – model J) in ABMs. Both the MEPP and H.T. Odum’s Maximum Power Principle (MPP) have been proposed as organizing principles for complex adaptive systems. The MEPP and the MPP are two sides of the same coin, and an understanding of their implications is key, I believe, to understanding economic sustainability. Both of these proposed (and not widely accepted) principles describe the role of entropy in non-isolated systems in which complexity is generated and flourishes, such as ecosystems, and economies.

EiLab is one of several models exploring the dynamics of sustainable economics – PSoup, ModEco, EiLab, OamLab, MppLab, TpLab, and CmLab.

06 EiLab V1.36 – Entropic Index Laboratory

Garvin Boyle | Published Sat Jan 31 15:44:18 2015 | Last modified Fri Apr 14 21:29:47 2017

EiLab explores the role of entropy in simple economic models. EiLab is one of several models exploring the dynamics of sustainable economics – PSoup, ModEco, EiLab, OamLab, MppLab, TpLab, and CmLab.

The agent-based model captures the spatio-temporal institutional dynamics of the economy over the years at the level of a Dutch province. After 1945, Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands has been subject to an active program of economic development through the stimulation of pig husbandry. This has had far-reaching effects on its economy, landscape, and environment. The agents are households. The simulation is at institutional level, with typical stakeholder groups, lobbies, and political parties playing a role in determining policies that in turn determine economic, spatial and ecological outcomes. It allows to experiment with alternative scenarios based on two political dimensions: local versus global issues, and economic versus social responsibilitypriorities. The model shows very strong sensitivity to political context. It can serve as a reference model for other cases where “artificial institutional economics” is attempted.

The integrated and spatially-explicit ABM, called DIReC (Demography, Industry and Residential Choice), has been developed for Aberdeen City and the surrounding Aberdeenshire (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018). The model includes demographic (individual and household) models, housing infrastructure and occupancy, neighbourhood quality and evolution, employment and labour market, business relocation, industrial structure, income distribution and macroeconomic indicators. DIReC includes a detailed spatial housing model, basing preference models on house attributes and multi-dimensional neighbourhood qualities (education, crime, employment etc.).
The dynamic ABM simulates the interactions between individuals, households, the labour market, businesses and services, neighbourhoods and economic structures. It is empirically grounded using multiple data sources, such as income and gender-age distribution across industries, neighbourhood attributes, business locations, and housing transactions. It has been used to study the impact of economic shocks and structural changes, such as the crash of oil price in 2014 (the Aberdeen economy heavily relies on the gas and oil sector) and the city’s transition from resource-based to a green economy (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018).

Roman Amphora reuse

Tom Brughmans | Published Wed Aug 7 13:41:32 2019

A model that allows for representing key theories of Roman amphora reuse, to explore the differences in the distribution of amphorae, re-used amphorae and their contents.

This model generates simulated distributions of prime-use amphorae, primeuse contents (e.g. olive oil) and reused amphorae. These simulated distributions will differ between experiments depending on the experiment’s variable settings representing the tested theory: variations in the probability of reuse, the supply volume, the probability of reuse at ports. What we are interested in teasing out is what the effect is of each theory on the simulated amphora distributions.

The results presented in the related publication (Brughmans and Pecci in press) for all experiments were obtained after running the simulation for 1000 time steps, at which point the simulated distribution patterns have stabilized.

Peer reviewed Organizational behavior in the hierarchy model

Smarzhevskiy Ivan | Published Tue Jun 18 10:33:33 2019 | Last modified Wed Jul 31 09:27:47 2019

In a two-level hierarchical structure (consisting of the positions of managers and operators), persons holding these positions have a certain performance and the value of their own (personal perception in this, simplified, version of the model) perception of each other. The value of the perception of each other by agents is defined as a random variable that has a normal distribution (distribution parameters are set by the control elements of the interface).
In the world of the model, which is the space of perceptions, agents implement two strategies: rapprochement with agents that perceive positively and distance from agents that perceive negatively (both can be implemented, one of these strategies, or neither, the other strategy, which makes the agent stationary). Strategies are implemented in relation to those agents that are in the radius of perception (PerRadius).
The manager (Head) forms a team of agents. The performance of the group (the sum of the individual productivities of subordinates, weighted by the distance from the leader) varies depending on the position of the agents in space and the values of their individual productivities. Individual productivities, in the current version of the model, are set as a random variable distributed evenly on a numerical segment from 0 to 100. The manager forms the team 1) from agents that are in (organizational) radius (Op_Radius), 2) among agents that the manager perceives positively and / or negatively (both can be implemented, one of the specified rules, or neither, which means the refusal of the command formation).
Agents can (with a certain probability, given by the variable PrbltyOfDecisn%), in case of a negative perception of the manager, leave his group permanently.
It is possible in the model to change on the fly radii values, update the perception value across the entire population and the perception of an individual agent by its neighbors within the perception radius, and the probability values for a subordinate to make a decision about leaving the group.
You can also change the set of strategies for moving agents and strategies for recruiting a team manager. It is possible to add a randomness factor to the movement of agents (Stoch_Motion_Speed, the default is set to 0, that is, there are no random movements).

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