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Superstition and Rational Learning

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  • Levine, David
  • Fudenberg, Drew

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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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3196330/Superstition.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3196330.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Publication status: Published in American Economic Review
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3196330

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Fax: 617-495-7730
Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/
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References

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  1. Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1997. "Measuring Players' Losses in Experimental Games," Scholarly Articles 3160492, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Philippe Jehiel & Dov Samet, 2001. "Learning to play games in extensive form by valuation," Game Theory and Information 0012001, EconWPA.
  3. R. Aumann, 2010. "Correlated Equilibrium as an expression of Bayesian Rationality," Levine's Bibliography 513, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Hart, Sergiu, 2002. "Evolutionary dynamics and backward induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 227-264, November.
  5. Ehud Kalai & Alejandro Neme, 1989. "The Strength of a Little Perfection," Discussion Papers 858, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Eddie Dekel & Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1999. "Payoff Information and Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 172, David K. Levine.
  7. Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1991. "Rationalizable Conjectural Equilibrium: Between Nash and Rationalizability," Discussion Papers 933, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1997. "Conditional Universal Consistency," Levine's Working Paper Archive 471, David K. Levine.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1993. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2147, David K. Levine.
  11. G. Noldeke & L. Samuelson, 2010. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 538, David K. Levine.
  12. Levine, David & Kreps, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1988. "On the Robustness of Equilibrium Refinements," Scholarly Articles 3350444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1993. "Steady State Learning and Nash Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 373, David K. Levine.
  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. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "Measuring Subject’s Losses in Experimental Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 370, David K. Levine.
  18. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Johnson, Noel D. & Nye, John V.C., 2011. "Does fortune favor dragons?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 85-97.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2007. "Self Confirming Equilibrium and the Lucas Critique," Levine's Working Paper Archive 843644000000000022, David K. Levine.
  5. 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.
  6. Ng, Travis & Chong, Terence & Du, Xin, 2010. "The value of superstitions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 293-309, June.
  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. Paolo E. Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2012. "Self-Confirming Immigration Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3762, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Zacharias Maniadis, 2008. "Essays in Aggregate Information, The Media and Special Interests," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002258, David K. Levine.
  10. P Battigalli & S Cerreia-Vioglio & F Maccheroni & M Marinacci, 2012. "Selfconfirming Equilibrium and Model Uncertainty," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000376, David K. Levine.

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