Agent-Based Computational Demography

Part of the series Contributions to Economics pp 55-72

Diffusion Processes in Demographic Transitions: A Prospect on Using Multi Agent Simulation to Explore the Role of Cognitive Strategies and Social Interactions

  • Wander JagerAffiliated withFaculty of Business, Department of Marketing, University of Groningen
  • , Marco A. JanssenAffiliated withCenter for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change, Indiana University

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Multi agent simulation (MAS) is a tool that can be used to explore the dynamics of different systems. Considering that many demographic phenomena have roots in individual choice behaviour and social interactions it is important that this behaviour is being translated in agent rules. Several behaviour theories are relevant in this context, and hence there is a necessity of using a meta-theory of behaviour as a framework for the development of agent rules. The consumat approach provides a basis for such a framework, as is demonstrated with a discussion of modelling the diffusion of contraceptives. These diffusion processes are strongly influenced by social processes and cognitive strategies. Different possible research lines are discussed which might be addressed with a multi-agent approach like the consumats.