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Imitation Equilibrium

Author

Listed:
  • Reinhard Selten

    (Center for Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld)

  • Axel Ostmann

    (Center for Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld)

Abstract

The paper presents the concept of an "imitation equilibrium" and explores it in the context of some simple oligopoly models. The concept applies to normal form games enriched by a "reference structure" specifying a "reference group" for every player. The reference group is a set of other players, whom the player may consider to imitate. Some of these players may not be suitable for imitation for various reasons. Only one of the most adoption of the imitated player's strategy. Imitation equilibrium does not only mean absence of imitation opportunities but also stability against exploratory deviations of "success leaders!, i.e. players most successful in their reference groups. Exploration declenches a process of imitation which either leads back to imitation equilibrium directly or by a "return path" after an unsuccessful deviation. The imitation equilibrium concept is motivated by the experimental literature which suggests that under appropriate conditions imitation of the most successful relevant other is an important behavioral force. The concept may be useful for the evaluation of experimental data and for the planning of future experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • Reinhard Selten & Axel Ostmann, 2001. "Imitation Equilibrium," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 18, pages 111-149.
  • Handle: RePEc:hom:homoec:v:18:y:2001:p:111-149
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 80-95, March.
    2. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1999. "Markets under bounded rationality: from theory to facts," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 23(1), pages 3-26, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Apesteguia, Jose & Huck, Steffen & Oechssler, Jorg, 2007. "Imitation--theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 217-235, September.
    2. Cartwright, Edward, 2003. "Imitation and the emergence of Nash equilibrium play in games with many players," Economic Research Papers 269568, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    3. Edward Cartwright, 2002. "Learning to play approximate Nash equilibria in games with many players," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000070, David K. Levine.
    4. Holler Manfred J., 2002. "Classical, Modern, and New Game Theory / Klassische, Moderne und Neue Spieltheorie," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 222(5), pages 556-583, October.
    5. Robert S. Gazzale, 2009. "Learning to Play Nash from the Best," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    6. Innocenti, Stefania & Cowan, Robin, 2019. "Self-efficacy beliefs and imitation: A two-armed bandit experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 156-172.
    7. Cui Zhiwei & Zhai Jian & Liu Xuan, 2009. "The Efficiency of Observability and Mutual Linkage," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-36, July.
    8. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Ritschel, Alexander, 2021. "Multiple behavioral rules in Cournot oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 250-267.
    9. Bardsley, Nicholas & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2005. "Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 664-681, October.
    10. Jan Potters & Sigrid Suetens, 2013. "Oligopoly Experiments In The Current Millennium," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 439-460, July.
    11. Katharina Schüller & Kateřina Staňková & Frank Thuijsman, 2017. "Game Theory of Pollution: National Policies and Their International Effects," Games, MDPI, vol. 8(3), pages 1-15, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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