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Imitation and luck: An experimental study on social sampling

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  • Offerman, Theo
  • Schotter, Andrew

Abstract

In this paper, we present the results of two experiments on social sampling, where people make a risky decision after they have sampled the behavior of others who have done exactly the same problem before them. In an individual decision making problem as well as in the takeover game, the simple behavioral rule of imitating the best appears to be a robust description of behavior despite the fact that it is not optimal in any of the experimental tasks. Social sampling makes people look more risk seeking than the people who do not have the opportunity to sample.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 65 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 461-502

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:65:y:2009:i:2:p:461-502

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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Keywords: Social learning Risk Experiment;

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  7. Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Inference by Believers in the Law of Small Numbers," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4sw8n41t, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  15. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M. & Sonnemans, J., 2002. "Imitation and belief learning in an oligopoly experiment," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-91663, Tilburg University.
  16. Fernando Vega Redondo, 1996. "The evolution of walrasian behavior," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
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  20. K. Schlag, 2010. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Levine's Working Paper Archive 454, David K. Levine.
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  23. Schlag, Karl H., 1996. "Which one should I imitate?," Discussion Paper Serie B 365, University of Bonn, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tristan Boyer & Nicolas Jonard, 2010. "Imitation and Efficient Contagion," CREA Discussion Paper Series 10-03, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  2. Gerald Eisenkopf & Tim Friehe, 2012. "Stop Watching and Start Listening! The Impact of Coaching and Peer Observation in tournaments," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-10, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  3. John Duffy & Tatiana Kornienko, 2006. "Does Competition Affect Giving?," Working Papers 275, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2009.
  4. Constanza Fosco & Friederike Mengel, 2009. "Cooperation through Imitation and Exclusion in Networks," Working Papers 2009.37, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Sergio Sousa, 2010. "Are smarter people really less risk averse?," Discussion Papers 2010-17, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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