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Empirical models of discrete choice and belief updating in observational learning experiments

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  • Dominitz, Jeff
  • Hung, Angela A.

Abstract

Subjects in economics experiments are often asked to choose an action from a set of discrete choices. The logit-QRE approach to analyse these data places strong restrictions on how subjects in information cascades experiments extract information from observed outcomes and how they update beliefs in response to new information. We add a belief elicitation procedure to the experimental design that allows us to measure directly both the inferences drawn from publicly announced decisions and how beliefs are updated in response to new information. The reported beliefs tend to be well calibrated to frequentist probabilities and also predict individual choices. Contrary to previous conclusions, we find that respondents do not tend to overweight private information when updating beliefs. Our analysis suggests that the earlier findings arise because identification of the discrete choice model relies on a misspecified model of belief updating in response to preceding announcements.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominitz, Jeff & Hung, Angela A., 2009. "Empirical models of discrete choice and belief updating in observational learning experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 94-109, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:69:y:2009:i:2:p:94-109
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mathias Drehmann & Jörg Oechssler & Andreas Roider, 2005. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets: An Internet Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1403-1426, December.
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    3. Angela A. Hung & Charles R. Plott, 2001. "Information Cascades: Replication and an Extension to Majority Rule and Conformity-Rewarding Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1508-1520, December.
    4. Angela Hung & Jeff Dominitz, 2004. "Homogeneous Actions and Hetergeneous Beliefs: Experimental Evidence on the Formation of Information Cascades," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 64, Econometric Society.
    5. Yaw Nyarko & Andrew Schotter, 2002. "An Experimental Study of Belief Learning Using Elicited Beliefs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 971-1005, May.
    6. Bogaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv, 2004. "Distinguishing Informational Cascades from Herd Behavior in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 484-498, June.
    7. Jacob K. Goeree & Thomas R. Palfrey & Brian W. Rogers & Richard D. McKelvey, 2007. "Self-Correcting Information Cascades," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 733-762.
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    11. Kraemer, Carlo & Noth, Markus & Weber, Martin, 2006. "Information aggregation with costly information and random ordering: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 423-432, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Christoph March & Sebastian Kr?gel, 2013. "Do We Follow Others When We Should? A Simple Test of Rational Expectations: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2633-2642, October.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:94:y:2017:i:c:p:148-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2012. "Learning about Academic Ability and the College Dropout Decision," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 707-748.
    4. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2014. "A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 426-472.
    5. repec:spr:jeicoo:v:12:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11403-015-0156-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Wang, Stephanie W., 2009. "On eliciting beliefs in strategic games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 98-109, August.
    7. Paul J. Healy & John Conlon & Yeochang Yoon, 2016. "Information Cascades with Informative Ratings: An Experimental Test," Working Papers 16-05, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Georg Weizsacker, 2010. "Do We Follow Others When We Should? A Simple Test of Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2340-2360, December.
    9. Fahr, René & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2011. "Who follows the crowd—Groups or individuals?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 200-209.
    10. Koessler, Frédéric & Noussair, Charles & Ziegelmeyer, Anthony, 2012. "Information aggregation and belief elicitation in experimental parimutuel betting markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 195-208.

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