Simple Agents, Intelligent Markets
CFDP Revision Date
Attainment of rational expectations equilibria in asset markets calls for the price system to disseminate agents’ private information to others. Markets populated by human agents are known to be capable of converging to rational expectations equilibria. This paper reports comparable market outcomes when human agents are replaced by boundedly-rational algorithmic agents who use a simple means-end heuristic. These algorithmic agents lack the capability to optimize; yet outcomes of markets populated by them converge near the equilibrium derived from optimization assumptions. These ﬁndings point to market structure (rather than cognition or optimization) being an important determinant of eﬀicient aggregate level outcomes.
Jamal, Karim; Maier, Michael; and Sunder, Shyam, "Simple Agents, Intelligent Markets" (2012). Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers. 2232.