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Conformism and diversity under social learning

Author

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  • Venkatesh Bala

    () (Department of Economics, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, H3A 2T7, CANADA)

  • Sanjeev Goyal

    () (Econometric Institute, Erasmus University, 3000 DR Rotterdam, THE NETHERLANDS)

Abstract

When there are competing technologies or products with unknown payoffs an important question is which technology will prevail and whether technologies with different payoffs can coexist in the long run. In this paper, we use a social learning model with local interactions to study this question. We show that the adoption of technologies as well as the prospects of conformism/diversity depend crucially on the nature of interaction between individuals and the heterogeneity of preferences in a society.

Suggested Citation

  • Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2001. "Conformism and diversity under social learning," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 17(1), pages 101-120.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:17:y:2001:i:1:p:101-120
    Note: Received: May 10, 1999; revised version: February 4, 2000
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    Keywords

    Social learning; Local interactions; Conformism/ diversity; Networks.;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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