An agent-based model based on field experiments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This chapter described the empirical calibration of a theoretical model based on data from field experiments. Field experiments on irrigation dilemmas were performed to understand how resource users overcome asymmetric collective action problems. The fundamental problem facing irrigation systems is how to solve two related collective action problems: (1) the provision of the physical and ecological infrastructure necessary to utilize the resource (water), and (2) the irrigation dilemma where the relative positions of “head-enders” and “tail-enders” generate a sequential access to the resource itself (water). If actors act as rational, self-interested, agents, it is difficult to understand how irrigation infrastructure would ever be constructed and maintained by the farmers obtaining water from a system as contrasted to a government irrigation bureaucracy. Wittfogel (1957) argued that a central control was indispensable for the functioning of larger irrigation systems and hypothesized that some state-level societies have emerged as a necessary side-effect of solving problems associated with the use of large-scale irrigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmpirical Agent-Based Modelling - Challenges and Solutions Volume 1
Subtitle of host publicationThe Characterisation and Parameterisation of Empirical Agent-Based Models
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781461461340
ISBN (Print)9781461461333
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics


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