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Non-Bayesian social learning

  • Jadbabaie, Ali
  • Molavi, Pooya
  • Sandroni, Alvaro
  • Tahbaz-Salehi, Alireza

We develop a dynamic model of opinion formation in social networks when the information required for learning a parameter may not be at the disposal of any single agent. Individuals engage in communication with their neighbors in order to learn from their experiences. However, instead of incorporating the views of their neighbors in a fully Bayesian manner, agents use a simple updating rule which linearly combines their personal experience and the views of their neighbors. We show that, as long as individuals take their personal signals into account in a Bayesian way, repeated interactions lead them to successfully aggregate information and learn the true parameter. This result holds in spite of the apparent naïveté of agentsʼ updating rule, the agentsʼ need for information from sources the existence of which they may not be aware of, worst prior views, and the assumption that no agent can tell whether her own views or those of her neighbors are more accurate.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 76 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 210-225

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:76:y:2012:i:1:p:210-225
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Nicolas Vieille & Eilon Solan & Dinah Rosenberg, 2009. "Informational externalities and emergence of consensus," Post-Print hal-00464565, HAL.
  2. Smith, L. & Sorensen, P., 1996. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Economics Papers 115, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. G. Ellison & D. Fudenberg, 2010. "Rules of Thumb for Social Learning," Levine's Working Paper Archive 435, David K. Levine.
  4. Rosenberg, Dinah & Solan, Eilon & Vieille, Nicolas, 2009. "Informational externalities and emergence of consensus," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 979-994, July.
  5. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
  6. Larry Epstein & Jawwad Noor & Alvaro Sandroni, 2005. "Non-Bayesian Updating: a Theoretical Framework," RCER Working Papers 518, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  8. Peter M. DeMarzo & Dimitri Vayanos & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 2003. "Persuasion bias, social influence, and uni-dimensional opinions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 454, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Gale, Douglas & Kariv, Shachar, 2003. "Bayesian learning in social networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 329-346, November.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Munther A. Dahleh & Ilan Lobel & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2011. "Bayesian Learning in Social Networks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1201-1236.
  11. Banerjee, Abhijit & Fudenberg, Drew, 2004. "Word-of-mouth learning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-22, January.
  12. Ali Jadbabaie & Alvaro Sandroni & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2010. "Non-Bayesian Social Learning, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Feb 2010.
  13. Glenn Ellison & Drew Fudenberg, 1995. "Word-of-Mouth Communication and Social Learning," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 93-125.
  14. A. Banerjee & Drew Fudenberg, 2010. "Word-of-Mouth Communication and Social Learning," Levine's Working Paper Archive 425, David K. Levine.
  15. Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud, 1994. "Weak and strong merging of opinions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 73-86, January.
  16. repec:oup:restud:v:65:y:1998:i:3:p:595-621 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Acemoglu, Daron & Ozdaglar, Asuman & ParandehGheibi, Ali, 2010. "Spread of (mis)information in social networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 194-227, November.
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