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03 January 2007

The Trade Network Game (Endogenous Network Formation)

The Trade Network Game
Home Page: Leigh Tesfatsion
Last Updated: 4 December 2006
Professor of Economics and Mathematics
Department of Economics
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-1070
Tel: (515) 294-0138
FAX: (515) 294-0221

Primary Research Areas:
1. Agent-Based Computational Economics (ACE)
2. Learning in Dynamic Multi-Market Contexts
3. Evolution of Economic Networks
4. The Trade Network Game (Endogenous Network Formation)
(.... the Trade Network Game (TNG) is a framework for studying the formation and evolution of trade networks among strategically interacting traders (Buyers, Sellers, and Dealers) operating under variously specified market protocols. Successive generations of resource-constrained traders choose and refuse trade partners on the basis of continually updated expected utility, engage in bilateral trade interactions modeled as symmetric 2-person games, and evolve their trading strategies over time using genetic algorithm learning.
The TNG permits the resulting trade outcomes to be studied at four different levels: trader attributes (endogenous evolution of personality types); trade network formation (who is trading with whom, and with what regularity); expressed trade behavior (cooperative, predacious,...); and individual and social welfare measures (market efficiency, market power, individual utility levels,...).
Each TNG trader in a bilateral trade can either play C (cooperate) or D (defect). The TNG GUI Settings Screen permits the user to specify arbitrary payoffs for the four situations a trader could find himself in as a result of a bilateral trade: CC (Both Cooperate); DD (Both Defect); DC (Temptation, i.e. the trader defects against a cooperating partner); and CD (Sucker, i.e. the trader is cooperating but his partner defects against him). Consequently, a variety of symmetric 2-person games can be explored, including prisoner's dilemma, the Chicken game, and the Stag Hunt game ...)


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