Open Project to Investigate Money and Economic Systems

How Low Can You Go?

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I got curious looking at the last results … does the population decline continue or does it bottom out?

Intuitively you’d think that it will bottom out somewhere because there is a sub-population who are self-sufficient (ie. for all resources, they can get more than they consume).

Does the gift economy eventually decay to the same level or can it sustain itself somewhere above that?

Here’s the same experiment run for 1000 time-steps. (As before you’re seeing an aggregate of 10 runs of a population that starts with 100 agents and declines to something around 20 to 30 … it looks like 1000 because of some quirks I encountered with decimals in the spreadsheet so I scaled up by x10 to whole numbers).

As you can see, although the gift-economy sustains itself for longer than the selfish foragers, it does also decline. This might be because there is still some randomness in the way the simulation works.

At each time-step, a random agent is chosen to forage, consume and optionally donate its surplus to needy neighbours. But it’s possible that for some needy, but unlucky, agents, their neighbours are never chosen and so never donate. Donation is not systematic as it was in earlier versions of OPTIMAES.

It remains to be seen if the decline of the gift economy will eventually fall to selfish forager levels.