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How Do People Learn by Listening to Others? Experimental Evidence from Thailand

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Author Info

  • Andrew Healy

    (Loyola Marymount University)

Abstract

This paper presents experimental evidence about how individuals learn from information that comes from inside versus outside their ethnic group. In the experiment, Thai subjects observed information that came from Americans and other Thais that they could use to help them answer a series of questions. Two main findings emerge. First, subjects display overconfidence in their own opinions and place too low a value on the information that they observe. Second, conditional on this overconfidence, subjects weigh American information relative to Thai information in a nearly optimal way. The data also indicates that subjects appear to understand that outside information has extra value because people from different groups know different things and so have an opportunity to learn from each other.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/exp/papers/0512/0512006.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0512006.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 16 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0512006

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 59. 44 double-spaced pages text, 15 pages experimental instructions and tables
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: laboratory experiment; economic development; Bayesian updating; behavioral economics; learning;

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References

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  1. Cesarini, David & Sandewall, Orjan & Johannesson, Magnus, 2006. "Confidence interval estimation tasks and the economics of overconfidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 453-470, November.
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  4. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
  5. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
  6. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Munshi, Kaivan & Myaux, Jacques, 2006. "Social norms and the fertility transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 1-38, June.
  8. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2003. "Networks, social learning, and technology adoption: The case of deworming drugs in kenya," Natural Field Experiments 00312, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Tanya Menon & Jeffrey Pfeffer, 2003. "Valuing Internal vs. External Knowledge: Explaining the Preference for Outsiders," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 497-513, April.
  10. Keren, Gideon, 1987. "Facing uncertainty in the game of bridge: A calibration study," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 98-114, February.
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