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

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Author Info

  • Jose Apesteguia
  • Steffen Huck
  • Jörg Oechssler
  • Simon Weidenholzer

Abstract

A well-known result by Vega-Redondo (1997) 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 CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2224.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2224

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Related research

Keywords: evolutionary game theory; stochastic stability; imitation; Cournot markets; information; experiments; simulations;

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References

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  1. Karl H. Schlag, . "Why Imitate, and if so, How? A Bounded Rational Approach to Multi- Armed Bandits," ELSE working papers 028, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  2. 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.
  3. Jose Apesteguia & Steffen Huck & Jörg Oechssler, 2003. "Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse20_2003, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 2004.
  4. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1997. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly - An Experiment," Game Theory and Information 9707009, EconWPA, revised 22 Jul 1997.
  5. Yasuhito Tanaka, 1999. "Long run equilibria in an asymmetric oligopoly," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 705-715.
  6. G. Noldeke & L. Samuelson, 2010. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 538, David K. Levine.
  7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  8. 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.
  9. M. Kandori & G. Mailath & R. Rob, 1999. "Learning, Mutation and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 500, David K. Levine.
  10. Fernando Vega Redondo, 1996. "The evolution of walrasian behavior," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  11. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  12. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M. & Sonnemans, J., 2002. "Imitation and belief learning in an oligopoly experiment," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-91663, Tilburg University.
  13. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1998. "Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?," Industrial Organization 9803004, EconWPA.
  14. P. Young, 1999. "The Evolution of Conventions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 485, David K. Levine.
  15. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ana Ania, 2005. "The evolutionary stability of perfectly competitive behavior," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 497-516, October.
  16. Abbink, Klaus & Brandts, Jordi, 2008. "24. Pricing in Bertrand competition with increasing marginal costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-31, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Fallucchi & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2012. "Information Feedback and Contest Structure in Rent-Seeking Games," Discussion Papers 2012-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  2. Peter Duersch & Joerg Oechssler & Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Unbeatable Imitation," Working Papers 125, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Nikos Nikiforakis, 2008. "Feedback; Punishment and Cooperation in Public Good Experiments," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1036, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Peter Duersch & Joerg Oechssler & Burkhard Schipper, 2011. "Once Beaten, Never Again: Imitation in Two-Player Potential Games," Working Papers 1112, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Peter Duersch & Joerg Oechssler & Burkhard Schipper, 2013. "When is Tit-For-Tat unbeatable?," Working Papers 131, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. Friedman, Daniel & Huck, Steffen & Oprea, Ryan & Weidenholzer, Simon, 2012. "From imitation to collusion: Long-run learning in a low-information environment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2012-301, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  7. M. Bigoni & M. Fort, 2013. "Information and Learning in Oligopoly: an Experiment," Working Papers wp860, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  8. Bigoni, Maria & Fort, Margherita, 2013. "Information and learning in oligopoly: An experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 192-214.
  9. repec:dgr:umamet:2011027 is not listed on IDEAS

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