Agent Based Modeling and Austrian Analysis of Accident Law
Seagren, Chad W.
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The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that the economic analysis of the law should proceed from the notion that individuals form a spontaneous order in response to the institution of tort law, each other, and their environment. First, I address the methodological advantages of the emergent framework over that of the mainstream neoclassical position, as well as assess the Austrian contribution. I then attempt to reconcile agent-based modeling with the common methodological concerns. I subsequently attempt to demonstrate the efficacy of agent based modeling as an analytical tool that exploits its dynamic capabilities and develop an artificial society in which virtual agents endowed with varying attributes pursue productive, though inherently accident prone activity. The accidents are chance encounters and engaging in behavior that reduces the likelihood of accidents is costly. I consider the typical questions researchers working within the neoclassical tradition tend to pursue such as analysis of the relative benefits of strict liability and negligence. However, I also highlight that the agent-based approach is also useful in inspiring and answering wide ranges of questions that the neoclassical framework is incapable of identifying and examining.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1479987
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