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3 Domenico Delli Gatti!, Mauro GallegatF, Alan P. Kirman ! ITEMQ, Catholic University, Milan, Italy 2 MET, University of Teramo, Italy 3 GREQAM, Universite d'Aix-Marseille, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and Institut Universitaire de France The economics of heterogeneity This volume contains a set of papers which pursue the aim of examining how the properties of aggregate economic variables are influenced by the actions and interactions of individuals. This has been the central theme of a series of workshops held at the University of Ancona, Italy, since 1996, whose general title is Workshops on Economics with Heterogeneous Interactive Agents (WEHIA for short). ! Considering the economy as a complex evolving system of interacting agents, one has to take seriously three fundamental issues: • the heterogeneity of the agents in the economy, • the ways in which agents interact, • the dynamic process which governs the evolution of the individual and the aggregate variables. The third issue concerns especially the idea that agents learn and adapt rather than calculate optimally (Anderson et aI. , 1988; Arthur et aI. , 1997; Allen, 1988. ) As to the first issue, general equilibrium theory allows, of course, agents to be as heterogeneous as one wants but as the Sonnenschein-Mantel-Debreu results have I The papers published in this book are a selected sample of the papers presented at the 3rd WEHIA workshop held at the University of Ancona on May 29-30,1998.
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