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Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence

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  • Jose Apesteguia
  • Steffen Huck
  • Jörg Oechssler

Abstract

We introduce a generalized theoretical approach to study imitation models and subject the models to rigorous experimental testing. In our theoretical analysis we find that the different predictions of previous imitation models are due to different informational assumptions, not to different behavioral rules. It is more important whom one imitates rather than how. In a laboratory experiment we test the different theories by systematically varying information conditions. We find that the generalized imitation model predicts the differences between treatments well. The data also provide support for imitation on the individual level, both in terms of choice and in terms of perception. But imitation is not unconditional. Rather individuals' propensity to imitate more successful actions is increasing in payoff differences.

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File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-bonn.de/bgsepapers/bonedp/bgse20_2003.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse20_2003.

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Length: 44
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision: Aug 2004
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse20_2003

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

Related research

Keywords: Evolutionary game theory; Stochastic stability; Imitation; Cournot markets; Experiments;

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References

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  15. Schlag, Karl H., 1996. "Which one should I imitate?," Discussion Paper Serie B 365, University of Bonn, Germany.
  16. D. Canning, 2010. "Average Behavior in Learning Models," Levine's Working Paper Archive 490, David K. Levine.
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  18. Reinhard Selten & Jose Apesteguia, 2002. "Experimentally Observed Imitation and Cooperation in Price Competition on the Circle," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse19_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
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