Computational Economics

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 195-226

First online:

A Critical Guide to Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models in Economics: Methodologies, Procedures, and Open Problems

  • Giorgio FagioloAffiliated withLaboratory of Economics and Management, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies Email author 
  • , Alessio MonetaAffiliated withEvolutionary Economics Group, Max Planck Institute of Economics
  • , Paul WindrumAffiliated withManchester Metropolitan University Business School

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This paper addresses the methodological problems of empirical validation in agent-based (AB) models in economics and how these are currently being tackled. We first identify a set of issues that are common to all modelers engaged in empirical validation. We then propose a novel taxonomy, which captures the relevant dimensions along which AB economics models differ. We argue that these dimensions affect the way in which empirical validation is carried out by AB modelers and we critically discuss the main alternative approaches to empirical validation being developed in AB economics. We conclude by focusing on a set of (as yet) unresolved issues for empirical validation that require future research.


Methodology Agent-based computational economics Simulation models Empirical validation Calibration History-friendly modeling


B41 B52 C63