Interaction and Infection

The spreading of viruses in a population depends not only on biological factors and the availability of effective pharmaceutical products, but also on human behaviour. Since in the case of CoViD-19, there are currently no pharmaceutical measures available, the discussion focuses on non-pharmaceutical measures such as social distancing and quarantines. However, whether and to what extent these measures achieve the desired effects, does not only depend on medical parameters but also on human behaviour: A sufficient number of individuals need to change their social behaviour to successfully contain the spreading of CoViD-19. We offer an interactive computer simulation that allows us to compare different policy measures and social rules such as social distancing and quarantine in terms of their potential for virus containment. In Klein, Marx, Mayerhoffer and Sirsch 2020, we describe the basic structure as well as some implications of a simulation designed to model the effectiveness of different measures to contain the spreading of viruses like CoViD-19. 

New Article on Rational Choice and Asymmetric Learning

We just submitted a new article on Rational Choice and Asymmetric Learning in Iterated Social Interactions. Some Lessons from Agent-Based Modeling. The article will appear in an edites volume with the title Democracy and Choice, edited by Karl Marker, Annette Schmitt and Jürgen Sirsch.

Klein, D., Marx, J., & Scheller, S. (2019). Rational Choice and Asymmetric Learning in Iterated Social Interactions–Some Lessons from Agent-Based Modeling. In K. Marker, A. Schmitt, and J. Sirsch (eds.), Demokratie und Entscheidung (pp. 277-294). Springer VS, Wiesbaden.

This volume is a festschrift for Prof. Ruth Zimmerling. You can download a pre-print of this article here.

Just published: Generalized Trust in the Mirror. HSR. Vol. 43:1. pp. 234-258, by Dominik Klein and Johannes Marx

Our paper on the dynamics of social trust is now online. Abstract: High levels of trust have been linked to a variety of benefits including the well-functioning of markets and political institutions or the ability of societies to solve public goods problems endogenously. While there is extensive literature on the macro-level determinants of trust, the micro-level processes underlying the emergence and stability of trust are not yet sufficiently understood. We address this lacuna by means of a computer model. In this paper, conditions under which trust is likely to emerge and be sustained are identified. We focus our analysis mainly on the individual characteristics of agents: their social or geographical mobility, their attitude towards others or their general uncertainty about the environment. Contrary to predictions from previous literature, we show that immobile agents are detrimental to both, the emergence and robustness of trust. Additionally, we identify a hidden link between trusting others and being trustworthy. (pdf)