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An experimental test of observational learning under imperfect information

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  • Boğaçhan Çelen

    ()

  • Shachar Kariv

    ()

Abstract

Nearly all observational learning models assume that individuals can observe all the decisions that have previously been made. In reality, such perfect information is rarely available. To explore the difference between observational learning under perfect and imperfect information, this paper takes an experimental look at a situation in which individuals learn by observing the behavior of their immediate predecessors. Our experimental design uses the procedures of Çelen and Kariv [9] and is based on the theory of Çelen and Kariv [10]. We find that imitation is much less frequent when subjects have imperfect information, even less frequent than the theory predicts. Further, while we find strong evidence that under perfect information a form of generalized Bayesian behavior adequately explains behavior in the laboratory, under imperfect information behavior is not consistent even with this generalization of Bayesian behavior. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00199-004-0542-0
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 26 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 677-699

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:26:y:2005:i:3:p:677-699

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Related research

Keywords: Asymmetric information; Herd behavior; Informational cascades; Imperfect information; Experimental economics.;

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Cited by:
  1. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2008. "Thought and Behavior Contagion in Capital Markets," MPRA Paper 9164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ting Liu & Pasquale Schiraldi, 2012. "New product launch: herd seeking or herd preventing?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 627-648, November.
  3. Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2012. "Social learning in networks: a Quantal Response Equilibrium analysis of experimental data," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 135-157, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Boðaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv & Andrew Schotter, 2006. "An Experimental Test of Advice and Social Learning," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000272, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Boðaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv & Andrew Schotter, 2005. "Words Speak Louder than Actions and Improve Welfare: An Experimental Test of Advice and Social Learning," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000250, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Theo Offerman & Andrew Schotter, 2007. "Imitation and Luck: An Experimental Study on Social Sampling," Working Papers 0020, New York University, Center for Experimental Social Science.
  8. Jonathan E. Alevy & Michael S. Haigh & John List, 2006. "Information Cascades: Evidence from An Experiment with Financial Market Professionals," NBER Working Papers 12767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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