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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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  5. Jose Apesteguia & Steffen Huck & Jörg Oechssler, 2003. "Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse20_2003, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 2004.
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  7. K. Schlag, 2010. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Levine's Working Paper Archive 454, David K. Levine.
  8. Gilboa,Itzhak & Schmeidler,David, 2001. "A Theory of Case-Based Decisions," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521802345, October.
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  16. Hofbauer, Josef & Karl H. Schlag, . "Sophisticated Imitation in Cyclic Games," Discussion Paper Serie B 427, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Mar 1998.
  17. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
  18. Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "Optimal Properties of Stimulus--Response Learning Models," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 244-273, October.
  19. Boğaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv, 2005. "An experimental test of observational learning under imperfect information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 677-699, October.
  20. Colin F. Camerer, 1997. "Progress in Behavioral Game Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 167-188, Fall.
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  24. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep, 1998. "Learning by experience and learning by imitating successful others," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 559-575, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Tristan Boyer & Nicolas Jonard, 2014. "Imitation and Efficient Contagion," Working Papers 2014-052, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  3. Constanza Fosco & Friederike Mengel, 2009. "Cooperation through Imitation and Exclusion in Networks," Working Papers 2009.37, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Duffy, John & Kornienko, Tatiana, 2010. "Does competition affect giving?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 82-103, May.
  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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