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Imitation and luck: An experimental study on social sampling

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  • Offerman, Theo
  • Schotter, Andrew

Abstract

In this paper, we present the results of two experiments on social sampling, where people make a risky decision after they have sampled the behavior of others who have done exactly the same problem before them. In an individual decision making problem as well as in the takeover game, the simple behavioral rule of imitating the best appears to be a robust description of behavior despite the fact that it is not optimal in any of the experimental tasks. Social sampling makes people look more risk seeking than the people who do not have the opportunity to sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Offerman, Theo & Schotter, Andrew, 2009. "Imitation and luck: An experimental study on social sampling," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 461-502, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:65:y:2009:i:2:p:461-502
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social learning Risk Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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