Models and Anti-Models: The Structure of Payoff-Dependent Social Learning
AbstractWe conducted an experiment to describe how social learners use information about the relation between payoffs and behavior. Players chose between two technologies repeatedly. Payoffs were random, but one technology was better because its expected payoff was higher. Players were divided into two groups: 1) individual learners who knew their realized payoffs after each choice and 2) social learners, who had no private feedback about their own payoffs, but in each period could choose to learn which behavior had produced the lowest payoff among the individual learners or which behavior had produced the highest payoff. When social learners chose to know the behavior producing the highest payoff, a model of imitating this successful behavior matches the data very closely. When social learners chose to know the behavior producing the lowest payoff, they tended to choose the opposite behavior in early periods, while increasingly choosing the same behavior in late periods. This kind of rapid temporal heterogeneity in the use of social information has received little or no attention in the theoretical study of social learning.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 290.
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
social learning; payoff information; gene-culture coevolution; laboratory experiment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-06-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2006-06-03 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2006-06-03 (Experimental Economics)
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