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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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    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. 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.
    3. Robert S. Gazzale, 2009. "Learning to Play Nash from the Best," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    4. 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.

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