The goal of the workshop was to assess and further advance the usefulness of agent-based computational models for the evaluation and design of economic policy measures. In recent years economists, computer scientists and social scientists have started to use an agent-based approach as a normative tool to construct and evaluate market designs as well as public policy measures in simulated economic environments. The agenda of the workshop was to demonstrate in which economic policy areas agent-based methods are already successfully applied and to deal with important methodological challenges for agent-based models in this area of application.
There was strong interest of researchers in several fields for this meeting. The workshop programme consisted of five plenary and 25 regular talks and more than 50 participants from eleven countries attended the workshop. Participants had a wide range of backgrounds including economics, management science, computer science, social science, engineering and demography. This multi-disciplinary setup gave rise to a fruitful exchange of ideas between disciplines and lively discussions.
The presentations in the workshop gave an overview over the various different fields of economic policy where agent-based models are currently applied. The issues addressed included the design of electricity, labor or lottery markets, the evaluation of the effects of tax policy, industrial policy, agricultural policy, the control of the spreading of crime and flood control. Several talks addressed issues of empirical and experimental validation of agent-based models in economics highlighting the fact that these issues, which have been rather neglected for some time, have attracted a lot of attention in recent years. The fact that thorough design and validation of agent-based models is a key factor for extending the impact of this approach on economists and policy makers was also one of the conclusions from a round table discussion towards the end of the workshop.
You can find more information at the workshop's external homepage.