Learning from Neighbors
AbstractWhen payoffs from different actions are unknown, agents use their own past experience as well as the experience of their neighbors to guide their current decision making. This paper develops a general framework to study the relationship between the structure of information flows and the process of social learning. We show that in a connected society, local learning ensures that all agents obtain the same utility, in the long run. We develop conditions under which this utility is the maximal attainable, i.e. optimal actions are adopted. This analysis identifies a structural property of information structures -- local independence -- which greatly facilitates social learning. Our analysis also suggests that there exists a negative relationship between the degree of social integration and the likelihood of diversity. Simulations of the model generate spatial and temporal patterns of adoption that are consistent with empirical work.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute in its series Econometric Institute Research Papers with number EI 9549-/A.
Date of creation: 01 Jan 1995
Date of revision:
Royal Family; conformism; connected societies; diffusion; diversity; locally independent agents; social integration;
Other versions of this item:
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
- Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
- R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
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- Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
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