Abstract for: Collapse of Easter Island:A Study to Understand the Story of a Collapsing Society

This study aims at explaining the collapsing behavior of collapsing populations using system dynamics methodology and using Easter Island as a case study. This work is triggered by Jared Diamondís (2005) popular book and Brander and Taylorís (1998) economic model of Easter Island. A system dynamics model representing the resource and population sectors of Easter Island has been built based on allocation of labor. First, base cases have been considered for the hunter/gatherer society and the agricultural society. Later, sensitivity analyses have been run to see the behavioral changes with respect to the parameters used in the model. It is found out that the erosion is the main natural process yielding the collapsing behavior. An interesting finding of the study is that differentiation between a forest and an agricultural sector is crucial while studying the decline of agricultural societies because the dynamics implied by their replenishment rates differ considerably.