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Human Development Dynamics: An Agent Based Simulation of Adaptive Heterogeneous Games and Social Systems

Abstract. In the context of modernization and development, the complex adaptive systems framework can help address the coupling of macro social constraint and opportunity with individual agency. Combining system dynamics and agent based modeling, we formalize the Human Development (HD) perspective with a system of asymmetric, coupled nonlinear equations empirically validated from World Values Survey (WVS) data, capturing the core qualitative logic of HD theory. Using a simple evolutionary game approach, we fuse endogenously derived individual socio-economic attribute changes with Prisoner's Dilemma spatial intra-societal economic transactions. We then explore a new human development dynamics (HDD) model behavior via quasi-global simulation methods to explore economic development, cultural plasticity, social and political change.

Keywords: economic development, modernization, cultural shift, democratization, co-evolution, game theory, agent based model, techno-social simulation, complex adaptive systems.

1 Introduction

Rooted in comparative political economy, the HD perspective is a qualitative, trans-disciplinary approach to understanding modernization and development through the lens of interdependent economic, cultural, social and political forces across individual, institutional and societal scales. Here we extend Abdollahian et al.'s [1] novel, quantitative systems dynamic representation of HD theory at the societal level towards integrated macro-micro scales in an agent based framework. Quek et al [26] also design an interactive macro-micro agent based framework, which they call a spatial Evolutionary Multi-Agent Social Network (EMAS), on the dynamics of civil violence. We posit a new, Human Development Dynamics (HDD) approach where agency matters.

In order to create a robust techno-social simulation [32], we instantiate a system of asymmetric, coupled nonlinear difference equations that are then empirically validated with five waves of data from the World Values Survey (2009). We then fuse this system to agent attribute changes with a generalizable, non-cooperative Prisoner's Dilemma game following Axelrod [3-5] and Nowak and Sigmund [24, 25] to simulate intra-societal, spatial economic transactions where agents are capable of Robust Adaptive Planning (RAP). Understanding the interactive political-cultural effects of macro-socio dynamics and individual agency in intra-societal transactions are key elements of a complex adaptive systems (CAS) approach. We find strong epistatic interactions, where strategies are interdependent, and local social co-evolution [20] help determine global-macro development outcomes in a particular society.

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