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From market to non-market: an autonomous agent approach to central planning

Greenwood, Dan (2007) From market to non-market: an autonomous agent approach to central planning. Knowledge Engineering Review, 22 (4). pp. 349-360. ISSN 0269-8889


Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0269888907001129


In the longstanding debate in political economy about the feasibility of socialism, the Austrian School of Economists have argued that markets are an indispensable means of evaluating goods, hence a prerequisite for productive efficiency. Socialist models for non-market economic calculation have been strongly influenced by the equilibrium model of neoclassical economics. The Austrians contend that these models overlook the essence of the calculation problem by assuming the availability of knowledge that can be acquired only through the market process itself. But the debate in political economy has not yet considered the recent emergence of agent-based systems and their applications to resource allocation problems. Agent-based simulations of market exchange offer a promising approach to fulfilling the dynamic functions of knowledge encapsulation and discovery that the Austrians show to be performed by markets. Further research is needed in order to develop an agent-based approach to the calculation problem, as it is formulated by the Austrians. Given that the macro-level objectives of agent-based systems can be easily engineered, they could even become a desirable alternative to the real markets that the Austrians favour.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:4623
Deposited On:15 Jan 2008
Last Modified:11 Aug 2010 15:32

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