A Behavioral Approach to Learning in Economics - Towards an Economic Theory of Contingent Learning
AbstractIn economics, adjustment of behavior has traditionally been treated as a "black box." Recent approaches that focus on learning behavior try to model, test, and simulate specific adjustment mechanisms in specific environments (mostly in games). Results often critically depend on distinctive assumptions, and are not easy to generalize. This paper proposes a different approach that aims to allow for more general conclusions in a methodologically more compatible way. It is argued that the introduction of the main determinants of learning behavior as situational restrictions into the standard economic model may be a fruitful way to capture some important aspects of human behavior that have often been omitted in economic theory. Based on a simple model of learning behavior (learning loop), robust findings from psychology are used to explain behavior adjustment, and to identify its determinants (contingent learning). An integrative methodology is proposed where the "black box" is not opened, but instead the factors that determine what happens inside, and the limits imposed by theses factors can be analyzed and used for model building. The paper concludes with testable hypotheses about learning behavior in the context of economics.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 9905001.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 04 May 1999
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - PDF-File; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 31 ; figures: included. Working Paper, Department of Economics, University of St.Gallen, prepared for the EEA Annual Meeting, Berlin Sept. 1998, downloads
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://188.8.131.52
microeconomics; game theory; learning theory; experiments;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
- C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Weibull, Jorgen W., 1998.
"Evolution, rationality and equilibrium in games,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 641-649, May.
- Vives, X..A., 1995.
"Social Learning and Rational Expectations,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
305.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Arrow, Kenneth J, 1986. "Rationality of Self and Others in an Economic System," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S385-99, October.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998.
"Learning in Games,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2222, David K. Levine.
- John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
- Alvin E Roth & J K Murnighan, 1997.
"The rule of information in bargaining: an experimental study,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1631, David K. Levine.
- Roth, Alvin E & Murnighan, J Keith, 1982. "The Role of Information in Bargaining: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1123-42, September.
- McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-36, July.
- Camerer, Colin & Loewenstein, George & Weber, Martin, 1989. "The Curse of Knowledge in Economic Settings: An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1232-54, October.
- Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-95, September.
- Arrow, Kenneth J, 1994. "Methodological Individualism and Social Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 1-9, May.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
- Crawford, Vincent P, 1995.
"Adaptive Dynamics in Coordination Games,"
Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 103-43, January.
- Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
- J. Van Huyck & R. Battalio & F. Rankin, 1996. "On the Evolution of Convention: Evidence from Coordination Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 548, David K. Levine.
- Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1986. "Adaptive Behavior and Economic Theory," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S401-26, October.
- Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- James B. Bullard, 1991. "Learning, rational expectations and policy: a summary of recent research," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 50-60.
- North, Douglass C, 1994.
"Economic Performance through Time,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-68, June.
- Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A. & Winter, Eyal, 2002. "Coordination and Learning Behavior in Large Groups with Asymmetric Players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 111-136, April.
- Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
- Tilman Slembeck, 1999. "Reputations and Fairness in Bargaining - Experimental Evidence from a Repeated Ultimatum Game With Fixed Opponents," Experimental 9905002, EconWPA.
- Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
- Olivier Armantier, 2001.
"Does Observation Influence Learning?,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
01-04, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
- Olivier Armantier, 2006.
"Do Wealth Differences Affect Fairness Considerations?,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 391-429, 05.
- Olivier Armantier, 2006. "Do Wealth Differences Affect Fairness Considerations?," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-13, CIRANO.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.