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Imitators and Optimizers in a Changing Environment

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  • Hehenkamp, Burkhard

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Dortmund)

  • Kaarbøe, Oddvar M.

    ()
    (Programme for Health Economics (HEB), Department of Economics, University of Bergen)

Abstract

We analyze the dynamic interaction between imitation and myopic optimization in an environment of changing marginal payoffs. Focusing on finite irreducible environments, we unfold a trade-off between the degree of interaction and the size of environmental shocks. The optimizer outperforms the imitator if interaction is weak or if shocks are large. We use the example of Cournot duopoly to give economic meaning to this condition. To establish our main result, we rely on continuous state space Markov theory. In particular, it turns out that introducing a stochastic environment with finitely many states suffices to make an otherwise deterministic process ergodic.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 03/03.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 21 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2003_003

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Postal: Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway
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Web page: http://www.uib.no/econ/en
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Related research

Keywords: imitation; optimization; evolution; heterogeneous learning rules; changing environments;

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References

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  1. Gale, Douglas & Rosenthal, Robert W., 2001. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability: Addendum," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 164-174, March.
  2. Schenk-Hoppe, Klaus Reiner, 2000. "The evolution of Walrasian behavior in oligopolies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 35-55, February.
  3. Kandori, M. & Mailath, G.J., 1991. "Learning, Mutation, And Long Run Equilibria In Games," Papers 71, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - John M. Olin Program.
  4. Rhode, Paul & Stegeman, Mark, 2001. "Non-Nash equilibria of Darwinian dynamics with applications to duopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 415-453, March.
  5. Douglas Gale & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1996. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability," Papers 0065, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  6. Fernando Vega Redondo, 1996. "The evolution of walrasian behavior," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  7. Droste, E. & Hommes, C.H. & Tuinstra, J., 1999. "Endogenous Fluctuations under Evolutionary Pressure in Cournot Competition," CeNDEF Working Papers 99-04, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  8. Conlisk, John, 1980. "Costly optimizers versus cheap imitators," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 275-293, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Matros, Alexander, 2012. "Altruistic versus egoistic behavior in a Public Good game," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 642-656.
  2. Burkhard Schipper, 2011. "Strategic Control of Myopic Best Reply in Repeated Games," Working Papers 115, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Burkhard C. Schipper, 2005. "Imitators and Optimizers in Cournot oligopoly," Working Papers 537, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  4. Josephson, Jens, 2009. "Stochastic adaptation in finite games played by heterogeneous populations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1543-1554, August.
  5. Duersch, Peter & Oechssler, Jörg & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2012. "Once Beaten, Never Again: Imitation in Two-Player Potential Games," Working Papers 0529, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  6. Mengel, Friederike & Fosco, Constanza, 2007. "Cooperation through Imitation and Exclusion in Networks," MPRA Paper 5258, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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