InterJournal Complex Systems, 120
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [120]
Submission Date: 971014
Revised On: 980831
Socioeconomic Organization on Directional Resource Landscapes
Author(s): James Uber ,Ali Minai

Subject(s): CX.43, CX.44

Category: Brief Article

Abstract:

We describe a spatially distributed model with adaptive agents that live on a landscape and interact via a simple economy. This economy consists of a single good that is produced and consumed by the agents, plus a market mechanism that distributes this good according to the agents' bids. Most importantly, production of the good depends on consumption of a spatially distributed resource flow described by an acyclic directed graph that connects the potential production sites. Thus, resource use at one production site implies less resource flow to other connected sites, establishing an implicit heirarchy of production sites. We investigate the influence of resource flow and distribution on the emergent behavior of the agent economy in terms of price dynamics, wealth and health distribution, and population size. The motivation for the above abstraction derives from water resources flowing in river networks. The topology of such networks has been studied extensively, and has been described by fractals as well as various empirical ``laws.'' Our agents can be thought of as households participating in an agrarian economy where water is input to the production process and food is output. Each agent behaves according to relatively simple production and consumption strategies, but the system of agents produces emergent economies that exhibit intermittent and large price fluctuations, periods of rapid wealth transfer, and social heirarchy.

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