Book Chapter

Agent-based computational models of reputation and status dynamics

Grow, A., Flache, A.
In: Giardini, F., Wittek, R. P. M. (Eds.): The Oxford handbook of gossip and reputation, 231–249
Oxford handbooks online -
New York, Oxford University Press (2019)
Open Access


Social scientists increasingly construe social life as a complex dynamic process, in which macro-level properties of social systems can emerge from individuals’ actions and interactions in unexpected, unintended, and possibly undesirable ways. Reputation and status differentiation are important examples. This chapter discusses how agent-based computational modeling (ABCM) can be used to better understand the social processes by which the behavioral dynamics that underlie reputation formation can generate social inequality and contribute to status differentiation. The chapter begins by elaborating the foundations of ABCM and subsequently discusses a number of ABCM examples that address the emergence of reputation and status differentiation from simple but fundamental rules of social behavior and interaction. To further illustrate the method, the chapter presents a formal model that explains the emergence of status differentiation from reputation formation. It closes with a discussion of important future directions in this area, in particular the role that gossip might play in future ABCM work on reputation and status.

Keywords: World, simulation, social stratification
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.