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On the Evolution of Imitative Behavior

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  • Björnerstedt, Jonas
  • Karl H. Schlag

Abstract

We analyze the evolution of behavioral rules for learning how to play a two-armed bandit. Individuals have no information about the underlying pay-off distributions and have limited memory about their own past experience. Instead they must rely on information obtained trough observing the performance of other individuals. Evolution is modelled using the replicator dynamic with the revision behaviors as replicators. We find that evolution favors a special class of imitative rules. These so-called strictly improving rules, that also play an important role in a bounded rational selection approach (Schlag [16]), are found to be neutrally stable when facing any two-armed bandit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Discussion Paper Serie B with number 378.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: Jul 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonsfb:378

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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: multi-armed bandit; social learning; payoff increasing; improving; proportional imitation rule; replicator dynamic; neutral stability; survival;

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References

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  1. Schlag, Karl H., 1994. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Discussion Paper Serie B 296, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Dekel, Eddie & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1992. "On the evolution of optimizing behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 392-406, August.
  3. Karl H. Schlag, 1995. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? A Bounded Rational Approach to Multi-Armed Bandits," Discussion Paper Serie B 361, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Mar 1996.
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Cited by:
  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. 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.
  3. Schlag, Karl H., 1999. "Which one should I imitate?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 493-522, May.
  4. Droste, E.J.R. & Tuinstra, J., 1998. "Evolutionary Selection of Behavioral Rules in a Cournot Model: A Local Bifurcation Analysis," Discussion Paper 1998-86, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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