Computational Economics

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 305–341 | Cite as

Agent-Based Modeling of a Non-tâtonnement Process for the Scarf Economy: The Role of Learning

  • Shu-Heng ChenEmail author
  • Bin-Tzong Chie
  • Ying-Fang Kao
  • Ragupathy Venkatachalam


In this paper, we propose a meta-learning model to hierarchically integrate individual learning and social learning schemes. This meta-learning model is incorporated into an agent-based model to show that Herbert Scarf’s famous counterexample on Walrasian stability can become stable in some cases under a non-tâtonnement process when both learning schemes are involved, a result previously obtained by Herbert Gintis. However, we find that the stability of the competitive equilibrium depends on how individuals learn—whether they are innovators (individual learners) or imitators (social learners), and their switching frequency (mobility) between the two. We show that this endogenous behavior, apart from the initial population of innovators, is mainly determined by the agents’ intensity of choice. This study grounds the Walrasian competitive equilibrium based on the view of a balanced resource allocation between exploitation and exploration. This balance, achieved through a meta-learning model, is shown to be underpinned by a behavioral/psychological characteristic.


Non-tâtonnement process Co-ordination Agent-based modeling Learning 



We thank the two anonymous referees for their helpful and constructive comments, which have helped us greatly in improving the quality and clarity of the paper. The first and the last author are grateful for the research support in the form of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) grants, MOST 103-2410-H-004-009-MY3 and MOST 104-2811-H-004-003, respectively. We thank Wolfgang Magerl for the able research assistantship in the execution of this project.

Supplementary material


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AI-ECON Research Center, Department of EconomicsNational Chengchi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Industrial EconomicsTamkang UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute of Management StudiesGoldsmiths, University of LondonLondonUK

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