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Custom Versus Fashion: Path-Dependence and Limit Cycles in a Random Matching Game

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  • Kiminori Matsuyama

Abstract

A pairwise random matching game is considered to identify the social environments that give rise to the social custom and fashion cycles. The game, played by Conformists and Nonconformists, can generate a variety of socially stable behavior patterns. In the path-dependence case, Conformists set the social custom and Nonconformists revolt against it; what actin becomes the custom is determined by "history." In the limit cycle case, Nonconformists become fashion leaders and switch their actions periodically, while Conformists follow with delay. The outcome depends on the relative share of Conformists to Nonconformists as well as their matching patterns.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1030.

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Date of creation: Jun 1991
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1030

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Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
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Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
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Keywords: Best response dynamics; Bifurcation; Conformity and nonconformity; Equilibrium refinement; Evolutionary process; Limit cycles; Path-dependence; Strategic complements and substitutes; The collective selection and trickle-down theories of fasion.;

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  1. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
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