An Agent-Based, Socially Networked Simulation Model for Green and Non-Green Consumption in the United States

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An agent-based simulation models the networking differences between environmentally and non-environmentally conscious consumers. We assume that environmentally conscious (“green”) consumers exist in a social network where all agents are connected to one another, due to their mutual feelings of
environmental concern, while non-environmentally conscious (“non-green”) consumers exist in a network of random connections and do not share this concern.
Agents are placed in an economy where quantities of green and non-green goods demanded are determined by agent interactions through the social networks. Quantities produced and prices of goods are determined based on the quantities demanded. The pricing mechanism does not directly impact the consumer side of the model, as our aim is to isolate networking interactions without price determinants; instead we assume only that the probability of consuming a non-green good declines with a higher price. Results indicate that non-green demand declines gradually and steadily. We find that social networking, and resulting pressure from other networked agents, seems to play a large role in each agent’s probability of environmental action, and therefore green good consumption as well.


Keywords: Agent-Based Model, Climate Change, Economic Effects, Environmental Economics, Global Warming, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Simulation Model, Social Networks
Stream: Economics and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Illuminating the Green Movement


Ilana Boivie

Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Economics
College of Business Administration and Economics, New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

Ilana Boivie is a second-year graduate student in economics at New Mexico State University, interested in both environmental and labor economics. She is currently a research associate at the Arrowhead Center, the university’s economic and business development research center, working in the Policy Analysis department. In this capacity she has written economic base studies and small business profiles for each of thirty-three counties in New Mexico. Her master’s thesis will focus on agent-based modeling for climate change policy in the United States. Before studying economics, she was a copy editor and writer, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and writing from Binghamton University in New York in 2000.

Dr. C. Meghan Starbuck

Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics
College of Business Administration and Economics, New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, NM, USA


Ref: I08P0890