Economics Network CHEER Virtual Edition

Volume 8, Issue 3, 1994

Computational Economics Newsletter

UK Computational Economics Group

At the Royal Economic Society Conference held at York in 1993 Chris Birchenhall organised a meeting to discuss the need to set up a UK society for Computational Economics. Since then, moves have been undertaken to set up an International Computation Economics Society. Chris Birchenhall and Ken Judd were asked to write a proposal for its organization by a meeting at the IFAC Computational Economics conference in Amsterdam last month.

In addition, there is a plan to ask for funding from the European Commission to support a European Computational Economics Society. What is involved here is something approaching matching the funding the NSF provides for computational economics conferences in America. It is intended that the UK, American and European societies would be closely involved with one another.

Because of his international involvement, his RES responsibilities and the burdens of research and teaching, Chris has asked Seth Greenblatt and myself to take on the organization of a UK Computational Economics Society, if there is sufficient demand for a separate group. My current estimate is that there is not enough interest to make it worthwhile. However, if you are interested in joining such a society, then please let me know -- preferably by email.

There is, of course, the international group and the mailing list maintained (in addition to corryfee) by Hans Amman. Still, we are more accessible to one another here by non-electronic means and that could be an advantage. I am, for the moment, prepared to act as a clearing house (but not a filter) for contributions to an informal mailing list -- starting perhaps with statements of individuals' interests in computational economics.

It may help you to decide whether to support the proposed society to know that papers at the Amsterdam conference were concerned with simulations, non-linear estimation, computability, computation and the properties of computational methods, formal methods, computation with massively parallel architectures and interfaces. Genetic programming and neural networks were prominent. For those who are interested, there is the possibility of a session at the next RES meeting in addition to the software demos and online database demos/discussions that Chris currently has in mind.

So, are there enough of you out there to make a UK computational economics group worthwhile? If so, do you want a session at the RES meeting or, indeed, some other meeting to discuss computational issues based either on presentations of papers or software or panel discussions or simply roundtable discussions? It also seems to me that we might be able to generate some interesting discussions and trading of information that is not teaching/employment related and, so, not entirely appropriate for the cti-econ list, while not being of sufficiently general interest to put out on the sci.econ or sci.econ.research newsgroups. Local issues about, for example, UK research programmes or ESRC grant applications might be appropriate.

Scott Moss

Centre for Policy Modelling, Aytoun Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 3GH; email:; tel: 0161 247 3886; fax: 0161 236 5319


First International Conference of the Society Computational Economics
"Computing in Economics and Finance"
Austin, Texas, 22-24 May 1995.
Supported by the Department of Economics University of Texas at Austin, IC2, RGK Foundation, and the U.S. National Science Foundation

PROGRAM COMMITTEE: Andy Whinston (Co-Chairman), University of Texas; John Rust (Co-Chairman), University of Wisconsin; Hans Amman (Co-Chairman), University of Amsterdam; Kit Baum, Boston College; Dave Belsley, Boston College; Chris Birchenhall, University of Manchester; William Cooper, University of Texas; John Duffy, UCLA; John Duffy, University of Pittsburgh; Anantha Duraiappah, National University of Singapore; Arthur Farley, University of Oregon; John Geweke, University of Minnesota; Manfred Gilli, University of Geneve; Bill Goffe, University of Southern Mis-sissipi; Seth Greenblatt, University of Reading; John Heaton, MIT; Diem Ho, IBM Research; Ken Judd, Stanford; David Kendrick, University of Texas; Finn Kydland, University of Texas; Anna Nagurney, University of Massachusetts; Soren Nielsen, University of Texas; Louis Pau, DEC Research; Ken Pearson, Monash University; Ed Prescott, University of Minnesota; Berc Rustem, Imperial College; Tom Sargent, University of Chicago; Charles Tapiero, ESSEC; Peter Tinsley, FRB; Hal Varian, University of Michigan, Mike Wickens, University of York.

AIMS and SCOPE: The meeting will cover both quantitative and qualitative methods for economics, finance and decision making. Papers on the following subjects: computational tools for linear and nonlinear systems, stochastic control, automatic differentiation, nonlinear model solution methods, mathematical programming algorithms, variational inequality and other algorithms for computing equilibria, algorithm models of decision making including genetic algorithms, auction modeling, neural networks, computability and complexity theory, parallel and supercomputing, qualitative reasoning and models including qualitative simulation, are solicited. Papers on financial engineering, information technologies, databases, intelligent user interfaces, network pricing, artificial intelligence, decision support systems, management information .

The programme will include invited lectures, contributed papers and discussions of recent developments and applications in the field of computational economics, computational finance and related fields where empirical applications involve uses of enhanced computational capabilities. Papers are invited which deal with new concepts or involve new improved methods for dealing with possibilities being opened by such computational power or data capabilities. Authors wishing to contribute on theoretical or practical problems are invited to submit a detailed abstract (at least two pages) of their paper to Melissa Brown at the address given below by 31 January 1995. After acceptance, final version of the papers should reach Melissa Brown not later than April 1, 1995. Information concerning registration and accommodation will be provided upon receipt of the abstract.

PUBLICATION: The contributing authors at the conference should feel free to submit their articles to the "Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control" (JEDC, Section A) or to an edited volume of the book series "Advances of Computational Economics" which are both associated with Society of Computational Economics.

INFORMATION: For further information and submissions, please contact:

Melissa Brown,

RGK Foundation, 2815 San Gabriel, Austin, TX 78705, U.S.A. Phone +1-512-474-9298; Fax +1-512-499-0245

or one of the Co-Chairmen.

DEADLINES: Abstract: January 31, 1995. Full Paper: April 1, 1995

IFAC Workshop: Computing in Economics and Finance,

Amsterdam 8-10 June 1994

A large number of researchers gathered in the beautiful city of Amsterdam last June to discuss their applications of computational methods in economics and finance. Three keynote speeches from David Kendrick (Texas), John Rust (Wisconsin) and Diem Ho (IBM), together with some 150 papers in 38 parallel sessions were packed into two and half days and spanned the whole gamet of computational economics. Discussions ranged from methods for solving stochastic dynamic models, through numerous applications of neural nets, genetic algorithms and computer algebra to the efficient use of supercomputers.

During the workshop the new Society of Computational Economics was launched, if a little untidily. Anyone interested in this development should contact myself, Scott Moss (MMU) or Seth Greenblatt (Reading). I am particularly happy to report that even someone such as myself, writing programs in C++ and playing genetic algorithms, was able to find fellow travellers, even if they are all based in the USA. If there is a simple message to pass on from this conference, it is that we can seriously start to apply computational methods to tackle those issues of complexity that arise from highly nonlinear structures and the presence of heterogeneous agents. The profession needs to ensure it nurtures and fully exploits the new technologies. This rich intellectual diet was matched by the excellent social life offered by the highly civilised dutch people, including the famous rice tables, canals, art museums and infamous red-light district!

Chris Birchenhall

University of Manchester, Department of Economics, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL.
Top | CHEER Home

Copyright 1989-2007