An Agent-Based, Socially Networked Simulation Model for Green and Non-Green Consumption in the United States
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
Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Economics
Dr. C. Meghan Starbuck
Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics