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Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution

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  • K. Schlag

Abstract

In consectutive rounds, each agent in a finite population chooses an action, is randomly matched, obtains a payoff and then observes the performance of another agent. An agent determines future behavior based on the information she receives from the present round. She chooses among the behavioral rules that increase expected payoffs in any specifications of the matching scenario. The rule that outperforms all other such rules specifies to imitate the action of an agent that performed better with probability proportional to how much better she performed. The evolution of a large population in which each agent uses this rule can be approximated in the short run by the replicator dynamics.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 454.

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Date of creation: 09 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:454

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  1. Robson, Arthur J., 1996. "A Biological Basis for Expected and Non-expected Utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 397-424, February.
  2. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 1995. "Word-of-Mouth Communication and Social Learning," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 93-125, February.
  3. Helbing, Dirk, 1992. "Interrelations between stochastic equations for systems with pair interactions," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 181(1), pages 29-52.
  4. A. Cabrales, 2010. "Stochastic Replicator Dynamics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 489, David K. Levine.
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  10. Dan Friedman, 2010. "Evolutionary Games in Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 392, David K. Levine.
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  13. Samuelson, Larry & Zhang, Jianbo, 1992. "Evolutionary stability in asymmetric games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 363-391, August.
  14. L. Samuelson & J. Zhang, 2010. "Evolutionary Stability in Asymmetric Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 453, David K. Levine.
  15. Matsui, Akihiko, 1992. "Best response dynamics and socially stable strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-362, August.
  16. Schmalensee, Richard, 1975. "Alternative models of bandit selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 333-342, June.
  17. Friedman, Daniel, 1991. "Evolutionary Games in Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 637-66, May.
  18. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  19. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
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