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Imitation and the Evolution of Walrasian Behavior: Theoretically Fragile but Behaviorally Robust

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Author Info

  • Jose Apesteguia

    ()
    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Steffen Huck

    ()
    (University College London, Department of Economics)

  • Jörg Oechssler

    ()
    (University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics)

  • Simon Weidenholzer

    ()
    (University of Vienna, Department of Economics)

Abstract

A well-known result by Vega-Redondo implies that in symmetric Cournot oligopoly, imitation leads to the Walrasian outcome where price equals marginal cost. In this paper we show that this result is not robust to the slightest asymmetry in fixed costs. Instead of obtaining the Walrasian outcome as unique prediction, every outcome where agents choose identical actions will be played some fraction of the time in the long run. We then conduct experiments to check this fragility. We obtain that, contrary to the theoretical prediction, the Walrasian outcome is still a good predictor of behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0461.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision: Nov 2007
Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0461

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Related research

Keywords: Evolutionary game theory; Stochastic stability; Imita- tion; Cournot markets; Information; Experiments; Simulations;

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References

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  1. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  2. José Apesteguía & Steffen Huck & Jorg Oechssler, 2003. "Imitation-Theory and Experimental Evidence-," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0306, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
  3. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
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  6. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1997. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly - An Experiment," Game Theory and Information 9707009, EconWPA, revised 22 Jul 1997.
  7. Noeldecke,Georg & Samuelson,Larry, . "An evolutionary analysis of backward and forward induction," Discussion Paper Serie B 228, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Offerman, Theo & Potters, Jan & Sonnemans, Joep, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 973-97, October.
  9. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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  11. Selten, Reinhard & Apesteguia, Jose, 2005. "Experimentally observed imitation and cooperation in price competition on the circle," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 171-192, April.
  12. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  13. Yasuhito Tanaka, 1999. "Long run equilibria in an asymmetric oligopoly," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 705-715.
  14. P. Young, 1999. "The Evolution of Conventions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 485, David K. Levine.
  15. K. Schlag, 2010. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Levine's Working Paper Archive 454, David K. Levine.
  16. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ana Ania, 2005. "The evolutionary stability of perfectly competitive behavior," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 497-516, October.
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