Can genetic algorithms explain experimental anomalies? An application to common property resources
It is common to find in experimental data persistent oscillations in the aggregate outcomes and high levels of heterogeneity in individual behavior. Furthermore, it is not unusual to find significant deviations from aggregate Nash equilibrium predictions. In this paper, we employ an evolutionary model with boundedly rational agents to explain these findings. We use data from common property resource experiments (Casari and Plott, 2003). Instead of positing individual-specific utility functions, we model decision makers as selfish and identical. Agent interaction is simulated using an individual learning genetic algorithm, where agents have constraints in their working memory, a limited ability to maximize, and experiment with new strategies. We show that the model replicates most of the patterns that can be found in common property resource experiments.
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