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An Experimental Test of Advice and Social Learning

Author

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  • Bou{g}açhan Çelen

    () (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

  • Shachar Kariv

    () (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720)

  • Andrew Schotter

    () (Department of Economics, New York University, New York, New York 10012)

Abstract

Social learning describes any situation in which individuals learn by observing the behavior of others. In the real world, however, individuals learn not just by observing the actions of others but also from seeking advice. This paper introduces advice giving into the standard social-learning experiment of Çelen and Kariv (Çelen, B., S. Kariv. 2005. An experimental test of observational learning under imperfect information. Econom. Theory 26(3) 677-699). The experiments are designed so that both pieces of information--action and advice--are equally informative (in fact, identical) in equilibrium. Despite the informational equivalence of advice and actions, we find that subjects in a laboratory social-learning situation appear to be more willing to follow the advice given to them by their predecessor than to copy their action, and that the presence of advice increases subjects' welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Bou{g}açhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv & Andrew Schotter, 2010. "An Experimental Test of Advice and Social Learning," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1687-1701, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:56:y:2010:i:10:p:1687-1701
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1100.1228
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas de Haan & Theo Offerman & Randolph Sloof, 2015. "Money Talks? An Experimental Investigation Of Cheap Talk And Burned Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 1385-1426, November.
    2. Jackson, Matthew O. & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Games on Networks," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, Elsevier.
    3. S. Hun Seog, 2008. "Informational Cascade in the Insurance Market," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(1), pages 145-165.
    4. 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.
    5. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2009. "Decision Making and Learning in a Globalizing World," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/20, European University Institute.
    6. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2010. "Which Words Bond? An Experiment on Signaling in a Public Good Game (replaced by TILEC DP 2011-055)," Discussion Paper 2010-016, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    7. David Cooper & John Lightle, 2013. "The gift of advice: communication in a bilateral gift exchange game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(4), pages 443-477, December.
    8. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Friehe, Tim, 2014. "Stop watching and start listening! The impact of coaching and peer observation in tournaments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 56-70.
    9. Bougheas, Spiros & Nieboer, Jeroen & Sefton, Martin, 2013. "Risk-taking in social settings: Group and peer effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 273-283.
    10. 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.
    11. Krupka, Erin & Weber, Roberto A., 2009. "The focusing and informational effects of norms on pro-social behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 307-320, June.
    12. Penczynski, Stefan P., 2016. "Persuasion: An experimental study of team decision making," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 244-261.
    13. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2011. "Lying About What you Know or About What you do? (replaces TILEC DP 2010-016)," Discussion Paper 2011-055, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    14. Cabrales, Antonio & Charness, Gary, 2011. "Optimal contracts with team production and hidden information: An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 163-176, February.
    15. Jordi Brandts & Valeska Groenert & Christina Rott, 2012. "The Impact of Advice on Women's and Men's Selection into Competition," Working Papers 663, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    16. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter & Florian Wakolbinger, 2007. "The Impact of Naïve Advice and Observational Learning in Beauty-contest Games," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-015/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. Jordi Brandts & Valeska Groener & Christina Rott, 2012. "The impact of advice on women's and men's selection into competition," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 912.12, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    18. Seda Ertac & Mehmet Y. Gurdal, 2013. "Preference Communication and Leadership in Group Decision-Making," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1324, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    19. Sprenger, Julia, 2016. "Explanations or advice: The impact of financial literacy on information acquisition behavior," Ruhr Economic Papers 626, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    20. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2011. "Lying About What you Know or About What you Do? (replaces CentER DP 2010-033)," Discussion Paper 2011-139, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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