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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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hedlund, Jonas & Oyarzun, Carlos, 2016. "Imitation in Heterogeneous Populations," Working Papers 0625, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    2. Silvia Bou & Jordi Brandts & Magda Cayón & Pablo Guillén, 2016. "The price of luck: paying for the hot hand of others," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 60-72, May.
    3. Fosco, Constanza & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Cooperation through imitation and exclusion in networks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 641-658, May.
    4. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Friehe, Tim, 2014. "Stop watching and start listening! The impact of coaching and peer observation in tournaments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 56-70.
    5. Duffy, John & Kornienko, Tatiana, 2010. "Does competition affect giving?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 82-103, May.
    6. Bennett, Daniel & Chiang, Chun-Fang & Malani, Anup, 2015. "Learning during a crisis: The SARS epidemic in Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 1-18.
    7. Sergio Sousa, 2010. "Are smarter people really less risk averse?," Discussion Papers 2010-17, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    8. Boyer, Tristan & Jonard, Nicolas, 2014. "Imitation and efficient contagion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 20-32.
    9. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-052 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Tristan Boyer & Nicolas Jonard, 2014. "Imitation and Efficient Contagion," Working Papers 2014-52, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    11. Erik Mohlin & Robert Ostling & Joseph Tao-yi Wang, 2014. "Learning by Imitation in Games: Theory, Field, and Laboratory," Economics Series Working Papers 734, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    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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