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Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence -

Author

Listed:
  • Jose Apesteguia

    () (Public University of Navarre, Department of Economics)

  • Steffen Huck

    () (s.huck@ucl.ac.uk, Department of Economics and ELSE)

  • Jörg Oechssler

    () (University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We introduce a generalized theoretical approach to study imitation and subject it to rigorous experimental testing. In our theoretical analysis we find that the di¤erent predictions of previous imitation models are due to different informational assumptions, not to different behavioral rules. It is more important whom one imitates rather than how. In a laboratory experiment we test the different theories by systematically varying information conditions. We find significant effects of seemingly innocent changes in information. Moreover, the generalized imitation model predicts the differences between treatments well. The data pro- vide support for imitation on the individual level, both in terms of choice and in terms of perception. But imitation is not unconditional. Rather individuals propensity to imitate more successful actions is increasing in payoff differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Apesteguia & Steffen Huck & Jörg Oechssler, 2005. "Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence -," Working Papers 0419, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0419
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Evolutionary game theory; Stochastic stability; Imita- tion; Cournot markets; Information; Experiments; Simulations;

    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
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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