Consequences of Mortality Crises in Pre-Modern European Towns: A Multiagent-Based Simulation Approach

  • Ulf Christian Ewert
  • Mathias Roehl
  • Adelinde M. Uhrmacher
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


So far, people’s interactions during pre-modern mortality crises and in its aftermath seem widely unexplored. For that purpose a multiagent-based model of a pre-modern town has been implemented in JAMES (A Java-Based Agent Modelling Environment for Simulation). Three actor groups, i.e. merchants, craftsmen, laborers, form the town’s population and are modelled as agents who behave according to the assumption of utility and profit maximization. They are interacting as consumers and suppliers via several markets, e.g., a grain market, a consumer good market, and a labor market. The local authorities are modelled as a planning agent which, based on some underlying objective function, decides upon a course of interventions into market and social structures. Disasters are induced into the model, provoking reactions of actors according to their preferences and intentions. Macro-level effects can be observed, that are not intended by the individual actor s but are characteristic for premodern mortality crises. Thus, this simulation model allows to experiment with actors’ intentions and preference s, to mimic disasters leading to mortality crises, and to trace the courses of economic and demographic developments in the aftermath of such crises.


Local Authority Marriage Market Planning Agent Demographic Development Storm Tide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Christian Ewert
    • 1
  • Mathias Roehl
    • 2
  • Adelinde M. Uhrmacher
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics, Institute of Economic HistoryUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of RostockRostockGermany

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