The Complex Evolution of a Simple Traffic Convention: The Functions and Implications of Habit

G. Hodgson, T. Knudsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper explores the evolution of a simple traffic convention concerning the side of the road on which to drive. This agent-based simulation probes some of the deeper conceptual issues involved in the evolution of conventions, particularly the nature of rational decision-making and its possible reliance upon habit. The simulations show that the systemic convergence to a left/right convention is often improved or sustained by habit, alongside other “intelligent” and calculative attributes of agents. We show that habit formation is part of a possible mechanism of “reconstitutive downward causation” among agents where the preferences of each agent are partly malleable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-47
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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