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Coordination in the El Farol Bar problem: The role of social preferences and social networks

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  • Chen, Shu-Heng
  • Gostoli, Umberto

Abstract

In this paper, the authors continue the pursuit of the self-coordination mechanism as studied in the El Farol Bar problem. However, in addition to efficiency (the optimal use of the public facility), they are also interested in the distribution of the public resources among all agents. Hence, they introduce a two-dimensional El Farol Bar problem, to be distinguished from the early one-dimensional one, which has efficiency as the only concern. The authors ask whether it is possible to have self-coordinating solutions to the El Farol Bar problem so that the public resources can be optimally used with neither idle capacity nor incurring congestion and, in the meantime, the resources can be well distributed among all agents. They consider this ideal situation an El Farol version of a good society. This paper shows the existence of a positive answer to this inquiry, but it requires two elements, which were largely left out in the conventional literature on the El Farol Bar problem. These elements are social networks and social preferences. The authors first show, through cellular automata, that social networks can contribute to the emergence of a good society. They then show that the addition of some inequity-averse agents can even guarantee the emergence of the good society. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2013-20.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201320

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Keywords: El Farol Bar problem; social preferences; social networks; inequity aversion; cellular automata;

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  1. Lynne Hamill & Nigel Gilbert, 2009. "Social Circles: A Simple Structure for Agent-Based Social Network Models," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 12(2), pages 3.
  2. Albin, Peter, 1992. "Approximations of cooperative equilibria in multi-person Prisoners' dilemma played by cellular automata," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 293-319, November.
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  6. Franke, Reiner, 2003. "Reinforcement learning in the El Farol model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 367-388, July.
  7. Gali, J., 1992. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices," Papers 92-22, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  8. Challet, Damien & Marsili, M & Ottino, Gabriele, 2004. "Shedding light on El Farol," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 332(C), pages 469-482.
  9. Slanina, František, 2000. "Social organization in the Minority Game model," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 286(1), pages 367-376.
  10. 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.
  11. Challet, D. & Zhang, Y.-C., 1997. "Emergence of cooperation and organization in an evolutionary game," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 246(3), pages 407-418.
  12. Canan Atilgan & Ali Rana Atilgan & Güven Demirel, 2008. "Collective Behavior Of El Farol Attendees," Advances in Complex Systems (ACS), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 11(04), pages 629-639.
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