nep-cmp New Economics Papers
on Computational Economics
Issue of 2010‒03‒20
seven papers chosen by
Stan Miles
Thompson Rivers University

  1. A Problem-Specific and Effective Metaheuristic for Flexibility Design By Jörn Grahl; Michael Schneider; David Francas
  2. Costi di coordinamento e vantaggi di aggregazione: esiti, morfologia e processi di interazione in un mondo artificiale multi-agente By A. Arrighetti; S. Curatolo
  3. Entry and competition in freight transport: the case of a prospective transalpine rail link between France and Italy By Prady, Delphine; Ullrich, Hannes
  4. Calibrating Option Pricing Models with Heuristics By Manfred Gilli; Enrico Schumann
  7. Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise with a Microeconometric Model By Colombino, Ugo; Locatelli, Marilena; Narazani, Edlira; O'Donoghue, Cathal

  1. By: Jörn Grahl (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Dept. of Information Systems & Business Administration Mainz School of Management and Economics); Michael Schneider (Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Information Systems and Operations Research Department); David Francas (Universität Mannheim, Chair of Logistics and Supply Chain Management)
    Abstract: Matching uncertain demand with capacities is notoriously hard. Operations managers can use mix-flexible resources to shift excess demands to unused capacities. To find the optimal configuration of a mix-flexible production network, a flexibility design problem (FDP) is solved. Existing literature on FDPs provides qualitative structural insights, but work on solution methods is rare. We contribute the first metaheuristic which integrates these structural insights and is specifically tailored to solve FDPs. Our genetic algorithm is compared to commercial solvers on instances of up to 15 demand types, resources, and 500 demand scenarios. Experimental evidence shows that in the realistic case of flexible optimal configurations, it dominates the comparison methods regarding runtime and solution quality.
    Keywords: Flexibility, Metaheuristic, Network Design
    JEL: M11
    Date: 2010–01–28
  2. By: A. Arrighetti; S. Curatolo
    Abstract: In the real world, many social and economic interactions are highly affected by coordination problems. These, in turn, emerge from the trial to dynamically organize strategies of collective action in complex contexts where agents and groups are heterogeneous and information is only imperfectly transmitted. In such an environment, rational strategies of coordination games cannot be set ex-ante because, even if benefits from collective coordination are common knowledge, yet there exist many unknown ex-post costs to be sustained. Agent-based simulations done in this paper show how these costs impact the net payoff in different stages of the game with different weights depending on structure of the environment and nature of co-players. With perfect information, coordination is the outcome of the game, as game theory predicts. On the contrary, if coordination costs are positive, coordination failures frequently emerge, even in absence of opportunism (as postulated in this paper). Moreover, our simulations show that information costs are more important, in determining the success of coordination, than both organization and supervision costs. Finally, a new kind of coordination failure can emerge from the dynamic interaction among agents even in contexts where ex-ante gross payoffs are sufficiently high.
    Keywords: Coordination Games, Agent-based Models, Coordination Costs
    JEL: B4 C15 C71
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Prady, Delphine; Ullrich, Hannes
    Abstract: We analyze the expected effects of building a rail tunnel between Lyon and Turin on i) the market shares of the established and the new suppliers, and ii) consumer surplus. The prospective project consists of a 53km rail tunnel providing freight shippers with a new alpine path. We calibrate an equilibrium model where freight shippers choose a mode and alpine path to ship goods from a given origin to a given destination. Freight carriers strategically set prices for the differentiated products they supply. Deriving the market equilibrium, we simulate the entry of a quality-improved product and test its competitive viability. The prospective alpine path proves both competitive and welfare-enhancing on the regional market, loses its competitive edge on the wider North-South market, and leads to a modal shift on the West-East market. We argue that the new infrastructure is only one tool out of a global modal shift-oriented policy toolbox. --
    Keywords: Transalpine freight,New rail infrastructure,Simulation model,Competition
    JEL: R41 L92 H54 L13 C63
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Manfred Gilli; Enrico Schumann
    Abstract: Calibrating option pricing models to market prices often leads to optimisation problems to which standard methods (like such based on gradients) cannot be applied. We investigate two models: Heston’s stochastic volatility model, and Bates’s model which also includes jumps. We discuss how to price options under these models, and how to calibrate the parameters of the models with heuristic techniques.
    Date: 2010–03–08
  5. By: Balamou, Eudokia; Saktina, Daina; Meyers H., William
    Keywords: lagging rural areas, bi-regional CGE model, rural development policy, CAP, Agribusiness, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2009–12
  6. By: Boissin, Denis
    Abstract: Modern environmental issues imply that decision-makers take into account opinions from experts of different spheres. Boundary organizations are institutions able to cross the gap between different areas of expertise and to act beyond the boundaries while remaining accountable to each side: by encouraging a flow of useful information, they permit an exchange to take place while maintaining the authority of each side, in order to provide a better knowledge and understanding of a situation characterized by uncertainty. Though never formally proved, this hypothesis is widely accepted based on the observation of existing boundary organizations. Through a multi-agent simulation, it is possible to assess their impact on the diffusion of opinions among experts. This virtual interaction of heterogeneous agents based on a model of continuous opinion dynamics over two dimensions, shows that boundary organizations have a significant quantitative impact on the diversity of opinions expressed and the number of experts agreeing to each emerging position.
    Keywords: boundary organization, opinion, knowledge diffusion, multi-agent system, Agribusiness, Labor and Human Capital, Public Economics,
    Date: 2009–12
  7. By: Colombino, Ugo (University of Turin); Locatelli, Marilena (University of Turin); Narazani, Edlira (University of Turin); O'Donoghue, Cathal (Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre)
    Abstract: We develop and estimate a microeconometric model of household labour supply in four European countries representative of different economies and welfare policy regimes: Denmark, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. We then simulate, under the constraint of constant total net tax revenue (fiscal neutrality), the effects of various hypothetical tax-transfer reforms which include alternative versions of a Basic Income policy: Guaranteed Minimum Income, Work Fare, Participation Basic Income and Universal Basic Income. We produce indexes and criteria according to which the reforms can be ranked and compared to the current tax-transfer systems. The exercise can be considered as one of empirical optimal taxation, where the optimization problem is solved computationally rather than analytically. It turns out that many versions of the Basic Income policies would be superior to the current system. The most successful policies are those involving non means-tested versions of basic income (Universal or Participation Basic Income) and adopting progressive tax-rules. If – besides the fiscal neutrality constraint – also other constraints are considered, such as the implied top marginal top tax rate or the effect on female labour supply, the picture changes: unconditional policies remain optimal and feasible in Denmark and the UK; instead in Italy and Portugal universal policies appear to be too costly in terms of implied top marginal tax rates and in terms of adverse effects on female participation, and conditional policies such as Work-Fare, emerge as more desirable.
    Keywords: minimum guaranteed income, work fare, participation basic income, universal basic income, models of labour supply, tax reforms, welfare evaluation, optimal taxation
    JEL: C25 H24 H31 I38
    Date: 2010–02

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