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Superstition and Rational Learning

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  • Drew Fudenberg
  • David K Levine

Abstract

We argue that some, but not all, superstitions can persist when learning is rational and players are patient, and illustrate our argument with an example inspired by the Code of Hammurabi. The code specified an “appeal by surviving in the river†as a way of deciding whether an accusation was true. According to our theory, a mechanism that uses superstitions two or more steps off the equilibrium path, such as “appeal by surviving in the river,†is more likely to persist than a superstition where the false beliefs are only one step off the equilibrium path.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 618897000000000731.

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Date of creation: 16 Jul 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000731

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Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. G. Noldeke & L. Samuelson, 2010. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 538, David K. Levine.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "Measuring Subject’s Losses in Experimental Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 370, David K. Levine.
  3. Jehiel, Philippe & Samet, Dov, 2005. "Learning to play games in extensive form by valuation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 129-148, October.
  4. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1993. "Steady State Learning and Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 547-73, May.
  5. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  6. Eddie Dekel & Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, . "Payoff Information and Self-Confirming Equilibrium," ELSE working papers 040, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  7. Foster, Dean P. & Vohra, Rakesh V., 1997. "Calibrated Learning and Correlated Equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 40-55, October.
  8. Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1997. "Measuring Players' Losses in Experimental Games," Scholarly Articles 3160492, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Levine, David & Kreps, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1988. "On the Robustness of Equilibrium Refinements," Scholarly Articles 3350444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M., 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games I. Self-confirming equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 20-55.
  11. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1997. "Conditional Universal Consistency," Levine's Working Paper Archive 471, David K. Levine.
  12. Sergiu Hart, 1999. "Evolutionary Dynamics and Backward Induction," Game Theory and Information 9905002, EconWPA, revised 23 Mar 2000.
  13. R. Aumann, 2010. "Correlated Equilibrium as an expression of Bayesian Rationality," Levine's Bibliography 513, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Lambson, Val E. & Probst, Daniel A., 2004. "Learning by matching patterns," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 398-409, February.
  15. Aoyagi, Masaki, 1996. "Evolution of Beliefs and the Nash Equilibrium of Normal Form Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 444-469, August.
  16. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1993. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2147, David K. Levine.
  17. Rubinstein Ariel & Wolinsky Asher, 1994. "Rationalizable Conjectural Equilibrium: Between Nash and Rationalizability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 299-311, March.
  18. Kalai, E & Neme, A, 1992. "The Strength of a Little Perfection," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 335-55.
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Cited by:
  1. Woo, Chi-Keung & Horowitz, Ira & Luk, Stephen & Lai, Aaron, 2008. "Willingness to pay and nuanced cultural cues: Evidence from Hong Kong's license-plate auction market," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 35-53, February.
  2. P Battigalli & S Cerreia-Vioglio & F Maccheroni & M Marinacci, 2012. "Selfconfirming Equilibrium and Model Uncertainty," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000376, David K. Levine.
  3. Johnson, Noel D. & Nye, John V.C., 2011. "Does fortune favor dragons?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 85-97.
  4. Ng, Travis & Chong, Terence & Du, Xin, 2010. "The value of superstitions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 293-309, June.
  5. Paolo E. Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2012. "Self-Confirming Immigration Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3762, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2007. "Self Confirming Equilibrium and the Lucas Critique," Levine's Working Paper Archive 843644000000000022, David K. Levine.
  7. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci, 2011. "Selfconfirming Equilibrium and Uncertainty," Working Papers 428, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Nmadu, Job N. & Simpa, James O., 2014. "Rethinking The Technical Efficiency Of Small Scale Yam Farmers In Nigeria Using Conventional And Non-Conventional Inefficiency Parameters," 2014 Conference (58th), February 4-7, 2014, Port Maquarie, Australia 165866, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  9. Zacharias Maniadis, 2008. "Essays in Aggregate Information, The Media and Special Interests," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002258, David K. Levine.
  10. Robert Meyer & Joachim Vosgerau & Vishal Singh & Joel Urbany & Gal Zauberman & Michael Norton & Tony Cui & Brian Ratchford & Alessandro Acquisti & David Bell & Barbara Kahn, 2010. "Behavioral research and empirical modeling of marketing channels: Implications for both fields and a call for future research," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 301-315, September.

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