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A Polya Urn Model of Conformity

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  • Xue, J.
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    Abstract

    In this paper we propose to use Polya urn processes to model the emergence of conformity in an environment where people interact with each other sequentially and indirectly, through a common physical facility. Examples include rewinding video tapes, erasing blackboards, and switching headlights, etc. We find that a minimum amount of imitation is able to generate a maximum l evel of conformity. We then reinterpret the result in a group imitation setup, and show that as long as groups imitate each other with positive probabilities, they will end up with the same population composition, irrespective of the initial conditions, and the imitating probabilities.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0614.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0614.

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    Length: 22
    Date of creation: Feb 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0614

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    Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

    Related research

    Keywords: Polya urn; conformity; emergence; social norms;

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