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Imitation processes with small mutations

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  • Fudenberg, Drew
  • Imhof, Lorens A.

Abstract

This note characterizes the impact of adding rare stochastic muta- tions to an "imitation dynamic," meaning a process with the properties that any state where all agents use the same strategy is absorbing, and all other states are transient. The work of Freidlin and Wentzell [10] and its extensions implies that the resulting system will spend almost all of its time at the absorbing states of the no-mutation process, and provides a general algorithm for calculating the limit distribution, but this algorithm can be complicated to apply. This note provides a sim- pler and more intuitive algorithm. Loosely speaking, in a process with K strategies, it is sufficient to find the invariant distribution of a K x K Markov matrix on the K homogeneous states, where the probability of a transit from "all play i" to "all play j" is the probability of a transition from the state "all agents but 1 play i, 1 plays j" to the state "all play j. "
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Suggested Citation

  • Fudenberg, Drew & Imhof, Lorens A., 2006. "Imitation processes with small mutations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 251-262, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:131:y:2006:i:1:p:251-262
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