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Imitation and Efficient Contagion

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  • Tristan Boyer
  • Nicolas Jonard

    ()
    (CREA, University of Luxembourg)

Abstract

In this paper we study the conditions under which efficient behavior can spread from a finite initial seed group to an infinite population living on a network. We formulate conditions on payoffs and network structure under which overall contagion occurs in arbitrary regular networks. Central in this process is the communication pattern among players who are confronted with the same decision, i.e. who are at the same distance from the initial seed group. The extent to which these agents interact among themselves (rather than with players who already have faced or subsequently will face the decision problem) is critical in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. In the Coordination Game the key element is the cohesion of the efficient cluster, a property which is different from the one identified in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Additional results are obtained when we distinguish the interaction and information neighborhoods. Specifically, we find that contagion tends to be favored by fast neighborhood growth if an assumption of conservative behavior is made. We discuss our findings in relation to the notions of clustering, transitivity and cohesion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg in its series CREA Discussion Paper Series with number 10-03.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:10-03

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Keywords: imitation; contagion; regular graphs; local interaction game;

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  1. Jose Apesteguia & Steffen Huck & Jorg Oechssler, 2004. "Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000132, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Antoni Bosch-DomËnech & Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2003. "Imitation of successful behaviour in cournot markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 495-524, 04.
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  4. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Weidenholzer, Simon, 2008. "Contagion and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 251-274, November.
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  7. Tackseung Jun & Rajiv Sethi, 2009. "Reciprocity in evolving social networks," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 379-396, June.
  8. Offerman, Theo & Schotter, Andrew, 2009. "Imitation and luck: An experimental study on social sampling," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 461-502, March.
  9. Friederike Mengel, 2009. "Conformism and cooperation in a local interaction model," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 397-415, June.
  10. Avner Shaked & Ilan Eshel & Emilia Sansone, 1999. "The emergence of kinship behavior in structured populations of unrelated individuals," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 447-463.
  11. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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  13. Eshel, Ilan & Samuelson, Larry & Shaked, Avner, 1998. "Altruists, Egoists, and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 157-79, March.
  14. Peter Duersch & Albert Kolb & Jörg Oechssler & Burkhard Schipper, 2010. "Rage against the machines: how subjects play against learning algorithms," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 407-430, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Amparo Urbano, 2011. "SEA Presidential address: Group connectivity and cooperation," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 139-158, June.

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