Publications / SAND Report

Approach and development strategy for an agent-based model of economic confidence

Sprigg, James A.; Jorgensen, Craig R.; Pryor, Richard J.

We are extending the existing features of Aspen, a powerful economic modeling tool, and introducing new features to simulate the role of confidence in economic activity. The new model is built from a collection of autonomous agents that represent households, firms, and other relevant entities like financial exchanges and governmental authorities. We simultaneously model several interrelated markets, including those for labor, products, stocks, and bonds. We also model economic tradeoffs, such as decisions of households and firms regarding spending, savings, and investment. In this paper, we review some of the basic principles and model components and describe our approach and development strategy for emulating consumer, investor, and business confidence. The model of confidence is explored within the context of economic disruptions, such as those resulting from disasters or terrorist events.