Discussion papers

CPM-98-44 - 21 August 1998

The Social Dimension of Economics and Multiagent Systems

Adolfo López Paredes and Ricardo del Olmo Martínez

A paper presented at the workshop on Socially Situated Intelligence, held at SAB’98, the Fifth International Conference of the Society for Adaptive Behavior, University of Zürich, 17 – 21 August 1998.

Published as: Adolfo López Paredes and Ricardo del Olmo Martínez (1998). The Social Dimension of Economics and Multiagent Systems. In Edmonds, B. and Dautenhahn, K. (eds.), Socially Situated Intelligence: a workshop held at SAB’98, August 1998, Zürich. University of Zürich Technical Report, 73-79.


The ancillary hypothesis of unbounded rationality has dominated economic modelling for several decades. This extreme assumption about the behaviour of economic agents is relaxing recently in a fast growing literature under different headings: new institutional economics, experimental economics, agency theory, transaction costs, or behavioural and evolutionary economics, to name a few. On the other hand, agent-based-modelling is an active area of research with successful applications in Engineering and Science. In this paper we discuss the application of MAS to accommodate the social dimension of economics and describe an appropriate artificial agent which is “resource-bounded-rational”. We show how to design an agent and the corresponding architecture, which under the SDML of Moss et al. (1998) is a valid representation of economic cognition and behaviour.