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Imitation Equilibrium

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  • Reinhard Selten

    (Center for Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld)

  • Axel Ostmann

    (Center for Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld)

Abstract

The paper presents the concept of an "imitation equilibrium" and explores it in the context of some simple oligopoly models. The concept applies to normal form games enriched by a "reference structure" specifying a "reference group" for every player. The reference group is a set of other players, whom the player may consider to imitate. Some of these players may not be suitable for imitation for various reasons. Only one of the most adoption of the imitated player's strategy. Imitation equilibrium does not only mean absence of imitation opportunities but also stability against exploratory deviations of "success leaders!, i.e. players most successful in their reference groups. Exploration declenches a process of imitation which either leads back to imitation equilibrium directly or by a "return path" after an unsuccessful deviation. The imitation equilibrium concept is motivated by the experimental literature which suggests that under appropriate conditions imitation of the most successful relevant other is an important behavioral force. The concept may be useful for the evaluation of experimental data and for the planning of future experiments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute of SocioEconomics in its journal Homo Oeconomicus.

Volume (Year): 18 (2001)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 111-149

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Handle: RePEc:hom:homoec:v:18:y:2001:p:111-149

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  1. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1999. "Markets under bounded rationality: from theory to facts," Investigaciones Economicas, FundaciĆ³n SEPI, vol. 23(1), pages 3-26, January.
  2. James W. Friedman, 1965. "An Experimental Study of Cooperative Duopoly," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 192, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C80-95, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Bardsley, Nicholas & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2005. "Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 664-681, October.
  2. Edward Cartwright, 2002. "Learning to play approximate Nash equilibria in games with many players," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000070, David K. Levine.
  3. Cartwright, Edward, 2003. "Imitation and the Emergence of Nash Equilibrium Play in Games with Many Players," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 684, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. David Chavalarias, 2006. "Metamimetic Games : Modeling Metadynamics in Social Cognition," Post-Print hal-00007743, HAL.

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