Report of the Dijon Workshop

by Antoine Godin and Mauro Napoletano

A wide variety of approaches, methodologies and topics were presented during the first workshop, allowing for interesting discussions and exchanges. Clearly, the complementarities of the Stock-Flow Consistent and Agent-Based approaches emerged, even if some were skeptical at first. The influence of finance, fiscal austerity and the construction of the euro zone are at the heart of applied work from both approaches. Furthermore, the topics and issues addressed by papers from both methodologies are similar. On the methodology side, SFC and ABM practitioners share issues regarding estimation or the role of expectations.  On the first issue, the workshop has featured some presentations about methods that could be used to improve the matching between theory and data in both SFC and ABMs. An open issue there, and that could be developed in future workshop, is how far to go in the model calibration and estimation exercises. Indeed, both types of exercises impose strong restrictions on models (e.g. about the ergodicity of the dynamics) which could be limiting in terms of the ability of the model to catch salient features of the reality or that could be hard to detect into some models. Furthermore, the ABM literature has developed robustness checks and stability analysis that need to be further developed in SFC models. This highlights the interest of confronting the two approaches.

This workshop also showed us the importance of getting together and confronting our analysis and results. In particular, the workshop has highlighted the strong complementarities existing between ABM and SFC models. On one hand, SFC models have so far been developed as general aggregative models, i.e. as systems of stock-flow consistent equations describing the laws of motion of the economy at the aggregate level. On the other hand, ABMs provide explicit micro-foundations to macroeconomic relations that, in ABMs, are emergent properties of the disequilibrium interactions occurring among heterogeneous agents. However, the use of the stock-flow consistent approach in ABMs has so far been limited (few exceptions to this are represented by the models of Kinsella et al., 2012 and by Seppecher and Salle, 2012, Raberto et al. 2012). The use of the stock-flow consistent approach in ABMs could thus contribute to improve the rigor of the micro-foundations provided by these models. However, it could also help to micro-found many of the Keynesian dynamics emphasized by SFC models. This is important also because, as it was pointed out in the workshop, SFC models are particularly suitable to study the effects of imbalances at the aggregate level. However, by construction, they cannot study the factors underlying the emergence of those imbalances, such as for example the factors leading to bubble-and-burst dynamics in asset markets. Finally, we should mention the possibility of having some kind of mixed models where some sectors are agent based and others aggregated. Combining ABM and SFC allows thus to offer a wide variety of models with more or less complexity and different levels of aggregation, depending of the subject under scrutiny.

References

-       Stephen Kinsella & Matthias Greiff & Edward J Nell, 2011. “Income Distribution in a Stock-Flow Consistent Model with Education and Technological Change,” Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(1), pages 134-149.

-       Raberto, Marco & Teglio, Andrea & Cincotti, Silvano, 2012. “Debt, deleveraging and business cycles: An agent-based perspective,” Economics – The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 6(27), pages 1-49.

-       Seppecher, Pascal & Isabelle Salle, 2012. “A Two-Sector Agent-Based Model: Empirical Validation and Prospects” Unpublished.

Building a common language for Stock Flow Consistent Macro Models

SFC Workshop, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, 26-27 of August 2013

After a first very fruitful workshop in Dijon, we now turn to a second workshop in Limerick.

A wide variety of approaches, methodologies and topics were presented during the first workshop, allowing for interesting discussions and exchanges. Clearly, the complementarities of the Stock-Flow Consistent and Agent-Based approaches emerged, even if some were sceptical at first. Furthermore, the topics and issues addressed by papers from both methodologies are similar. On the methodology side, SFC and ABM practitioners share issues regarding estimation or the role of expectations.  The influence of finance, fiscal austerity and the construction of the euro zone are at the hart of applied work from both approaches.

This workshop also showed us the importance of getting together and confronting our analysis and results. The need to develop a common language surfaced. We will target this workshop, held at the University of Limerick, Ireland, to begin to work towards a common language for the posing of problems and the discovery of solutions to those problems.

Call for paper

We encourage papers building bridges between SFC and ABM methodologies. However any paper treating on either of the methodologies will be considered, as the goal is also to get together. The deadline for paper proposals is 30 June 2013. Please send an abstract (one page) to godin.antoine@gmail.com. Decisions will be made by mid-July.

Support

Hotel costs will be covered for all participants. Transportation costs will be covered for some participants (especially Ph.D. students), if requested when submitting a paper.

Stephen Kinsella

Antoine Godin

SFC Workshops – Going further … together

Dear all, the doodle gave its verdict for the Dijon venue: we will have the opportunity to set up a new collaboration between SFC practitioners on May 2 and 3. Those without any background but interested in the methodology and the functioning of this kind of modeling are also welcome.

Call for paper

In the first document we tried to classify the purposes of the meetings. However it was probably too ambitious seeking to structure the three workshops by topics: 1) state of art, 2) empirical issues and 3) theoretical aspects.

All those aspects are relevant and such that structuring the workshops is not required. The goal is to create a sustainable international collaboration between the researchers with more or less experienced but converging toward the same direction: the improvement of the SFC modeling framework in order to get forward in understanding the real world and provide alternative policy recommendations based on a robust diagnosis. Accordingly, the papers proposed should address any relevant theme aiming to achieve this goal.

Organization

The deadline for the submission of paper is March 10. The proposals, under the form of an extended abstract of 2 pages must be sent either to Antoine Godin (godin.antoine@gmail.com) or to Mickaël Clévenot (clevenot.mickael@gmail.com). For any logistical questions, contact M. Clévenot.

We intend to support transport costs or accommodation fees, or both costs depending on the number of participants. Note that only those who submit a paper within the deadline will obtain financial support. Of course any person interested in the workshop is welcome, at its own expenses. There is no participation fee.

The papers must be sent one month before the workshop so that other participants may read them, the papers will be uploaded on the sfc-models.net website. The papers may still be preliminary versions. Traditional sessions will be organized with a discussant. We will require all participants to be a discussant.

More informal sessions as round-table will be organized on the methodology and on the topics you want to address. For this purpose, let us know your wishes as soon as possible. This workshop is ours; it is up to us to make it a lever to move forward together.

To insure a wider diffusion of the ideas developed during the workshop, some sessions might be broadcasted on the internet.

Expecting you numerous, motivated, in a spirit of sharing.

M. Clévenot

A. Godin

SFC + ABM

INET has organized a very interesting workshop on stock-flow-consistent (SFC) models and agent based models (ABM).