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Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence

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Author Info

  • Jose Apesteguia

    (Public University of Navarre)

  • Steffen Huck

    (University College London)

  • Jorg Oechssler

    (University of Bonn)

Abstract

We introduce a generalized theoretical approach to study imitation models and subject the models to rigorous experimental testing. In our theoretical analysis we find that the different predictions of previous imitation models are due to different informational assumptions, not to different behavioral rules. It is more important whom one imitates rather than how. In a laboratory experiment we test the different theories by systematically varying information conditions. We find that the generalized imitation model predicts the differences between treatments well. The data also provide support for imitation on the individual level, both in terms of choice and in terms of perception. But imitation is not unconditional. Rather individuals' propensity to imitate more successful actions is increasing in payoff differences.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/exp/papers/0309/0309001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0309001.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 10 Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0309001

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on IBM PC; pages: 42 ; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: evolutionary game theory; stochastic stability; imitation; Cournot; experiments;

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References

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  15. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 973-997.
  16. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  17. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1998. "Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?," Industrial Organization 9803004, EconWPA.
  18. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Jörg Oechssler, 2001. "Two are Few and Four are Many: Number Effects in Experimental Oligopolies," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
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