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[Economics SIG] David Wheat on “Modeling Aggregate Firm Demographics and Employment”

April 8, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

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Please join us online Friday, April 8th Noon ET (Boston time. Here is a time converter).

In this Collective Learning Meeting (CLM), the System Dynamics Society’s Economics SIG and WPI System Dynamics host I. David Wheat ( who will present 

Modeling Aggregate Firm Demographics and Employment

Short Description: Motivated by Khalid Saeed’s modeling of Schumpeter’s ‘creative destruction’ hypothesis, my model uses an aging chain and co-flow approach to replicate the trends and patterns observed in the U.S. Census Bureau’s aggregate ‘business dynamics’ statistics—those relating to the formation and closing of firms and their establishments, the historical transition from startups to mature firms and, eventually, the end of a business life. The model also replicates the aggregate employment pattern associated with employment at age-specific business firm establishments.

Question(s)/Comments for the Audience: This is part of a comprehensive modeling effort that aims to provide a plausible endogenous explanation for the declining trend in the number of start-up firms in the U.S. economy and, more fundamentally, an explanation for the underlying decline in entrepreneurial activity. This is a wide-ranging project, and collaborators are especially welcome to help with the literature review and data analysis tasks.

Biography: Emeritus Professor Wheat studies economic systems. His research specialty is simulation modeling of macroeconomic structure and behavior in Ukraine and Lithuania, in addition to the United States. For many years, he taught the modeling process course at the University of Bergen, and he continues to teach a policy design course and a course in macrodynamics. Unable to spell retirement, he teaches 10 courses yearly in Norway, Ukraine, Lithuania, and the U.S. His projects include collaboration with Ukrainian economists to build dynamic modeling capacity at national universities in Kyiv and Lviv, creation of a system dynamics version of the central bank’s monetary policy model and, until the war, building an economic policy model for Ukrainian government ministries.   He also worked with economists at Lithuania’s central bank to develop a multi-industry system dynamics model of price dynamics in Europe. Prior to joining academia in Norway, he managed his own consulting business in the U.S. and, earlier, served as staff assistant to the President of the United States.

We will not record this presentation.

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