Research School » Research School PLUS » Funded Projects » Conferences » Conference - Klabunde

Applications of Agent-Based Modelling to Support Economic Policy-Making

Anna Klabunde
Department of Management & Economics, Macroeconomics

My PhD Project

Applications of Agent-Based Modelling to Support Economic Policy-Making

In my dissertation entitled "Applications of Agent-Based Modelling to Support Economic Policy-Making" I applied agent-based computer simulation to economic networks. In the first paper I analyzed the role of networks in the behavior of Mexican circular migrants to the US and showed how a network model can explain the distribution of migrants across the United States. In the second and third paper I derived impliations of different strategies regarding trust for a market of start-up investment. I showed that trusting investors can successfully freeride on the less trusting investors' scrutiny. However, when all investors trust more, their collective return falls drastically.


In March 2014, I organized the interdisciplinary workshop ESSA@work with the help of RUB Research School Plus. PhD students and Postdocs from Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands from different areas of social computer simulations got together in the Beckmanns Hof to discuss their work and exchange ideas. What was special about the workshop was the fact that - contrary to most other conferences and workshops - people could present work at an early stage to get feedback early on, rather than re-inventing the wheel. Prof. Michael Roos of RUB and Prof. Klaus Troitzsch (University of Koblenz-Landau) were invited as experts to discuss the young researchers’ work and give valuable advice. Besides, there were smaller discussion groups about particular topics - eg. validation methods, diffusion on networks, etc. - where researchers with similar interests could get together to find solutions to shared problems. The goal of the workshop was that everyone leaves Bochum having made a significant step forward in their research project. According to the feedback round at the end of the workshop, this was certainly achieved. Personally, I made lots of new contacts. Two of the other participants are now coauthors in joint projects. Furthermore, organizing the workshop helped me acquire important skills that became useful during my PostDoc at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Here, I was the main organizer of a small conference of more than 40 participants. All went very smoothly, also thanks to my experience organizing ESSA@work. I also know that my doctoral supervisor Prof. Roos has remained in touch with some of the participants. The workshop thus contributed to extending the faculty’s international network.