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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

The economic effects of alternative forms of market organization can be studied by direct observation or by experimenting with a simulated economy. The experimental approach in the study of market behavior is a relatively new but important technique for the analysis of many policy issues in American agriculture.

Experimenting on a simulated system is not an analytical approach confined to academic issues; it has its counterpart, for example, in the engineering fields. Major engineering installations often are based on studies involving the use of models in simulated situations; the experimental results provide a basis for more accurately anticipating the actual performance of a dam, a bridge or a vehicle under different conditions. Similarly, simulation in economic research involves model building and manipulation that makes possible. the telescoping of years of actual experience into a matter of minutes and a few dollars worth of computer time.

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