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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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Bibliographic Info

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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References

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  1. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1997. "Conditional Universal Consistency," Levine's Working Paper Archive 471, David K. Levine.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1993. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2147, David K. Levine.
  3. Lambson, Val E. & Probst, Daniel A., 2004. "Learning by matching patterns," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 398-409, February.
  4. Philippe Jehiel & Dov Samet, 2001. "Learning To Play Games In Extensive Form By Valuation," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 391749000000000010, www.najecon.org.
  5. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1997. "Measuring Players' Losses in Experimental Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 507-36, May.
  6. A. Rubinstein & A. Wolinsky, 2010. "Rationalizable Conjectural Equilibrium: Between Nash and Rationalizability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 369, David K. Levine.
  7. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M. & Levine, David K., 1988. "On the robustness of equilibrium refinements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 354-380, April.
  8. David M Kreps & Robert Wilson, 2003. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000813, David K. Levine.
  9. Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 1999. "Payoff Information and Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 165-185, December.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1993. "Steady State Learning and Nash Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 373, David K. Levine.
  11. Hart, Sergiu, 2002. "Evolutionary dynamics and backward induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 227-264, November.
  12. R. Aumann, 2010. "Correlated Equilibrium as an expression of Bayesian Rationality," Levine's Bibliography 513, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Kalai, E & Neme, A, 1992. "The Strength of a Little Perfection," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 335-55.
  14. 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.
  15. G. Noldeke & L. Samuelson, 2010. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 538, David K. Levine.
  16. 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.
  17. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "Measuring Subject’s Losses in Experimental Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 370, David K. Levine.
  18. 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.
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Citations

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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. 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.
  3. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2009. "Self-confirming equilibrium and the Lucas critique," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2354-2371, November.
  4. Johnson, Noel D. & Nye, John V.C., 2011. "Does fortune favor dragons?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 85-97, April.
  5. Tarvis Ng & Terence Tai-Leung, Chong & Xin Du, 2009. "The Value of Superstitions," Departmental Working Papers _189, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  6. Paolo E. Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2012. "Self-Confirming Immigration Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3762, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. P Battigalli & S Cerreia-Vioglio & F Maccheroni & M Marinacci, 2012. "Selfconfirming Equilibrium and Model Uncertainty," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000376, David K. Levine.
  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. 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.
  10. Zacharias Maniadis, 2008. "Essays in Aggregate Information, The Media and Special Interests," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002258, David K. Levine.

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