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Introduction: Agent-Based Modelling as a Tool to Advance Evolutionary Population Theory

  • Jan Van BavelEmail author
  • André Grow
Part of the The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE, volume 41)

Abstract

Demography has a strong track record in the numerical monitoring of national population flows and structures. However, progress in theories that explicate the processes and mechanisms underlying these flows and structures remains limited. One reason why the development of population theory has been lagging behind may be that a specific concept of population has dominated our field. This conventional concept has greatly stimulated the development of national human bookkeeping, but this may have been at the expense of a more in-depth investigation of populations evolving through different kinds of interactions between individuals in very heterogeneous and partly overlapping subgroups and networks. As the chapters in this volume illustrate, agent-based modelling may help demographers to bridge the gap between the conventional and an alternative approach to population, combining the advantages and limitations of both. We argue that this may stimulate notably an evolutionary approach to population theory. In this way, demography may establish itself more firmly as a bridge between the social and biological sciences.

Keywords

Evolutionary Theory Macro Level Fertility Decline Severe Acute Malnutrition Demographic Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors’ work on this chapter has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement no. 312290 for the GENDERBALL project.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Sociological ResearchUniversity of Leuven (KU Leuven)LeuvenBelgium

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