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Imitation and the Evolution of Walrasian Behavior: Theoretically Fragile but Behaviorally Robust

Author

Listed:
  • Jose Apesteguia

    () (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Steffen Huck

    () (University College London, Department of Economics)

  • Jörg Oechssler

    () (University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics)

  • Simon Weidenholzer

    () (University of Vienna, Department of Economics)

Abstract

A well-known result by Vega-Redondo implies that in symmetric Cournot oligopoly, imitation leads to the Walrasian outcome where price equals marginal cost. In this paper we show that this result is not robust to the slightest asymmetry in fixed costs. Instead of obtaining the Walrasian outcome as unique prediction, every outcome where agents choose identical actions will be played some fraction of the time in the long run. We then conduct experiments to check this fragility. We obtain that, contrary to the theoretical prediction, the Walrasian outcome is still a good predictor of behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Apesteguia & Steffen Huck & Jörg Oechssler & Simon Weidenholzer, 2007. "Imitation and the Evolution of Walrasian Behavior: Theoretically Fragile but Behaviorally Robust," Working Papers 0461, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0461
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
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    12. Selten, Reinhard & Apesteguia, Jose, 2005. "Experimentally observed imitation and cooperation in price competition on the circle," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 171-192, April.
    13. Selten, Reinhard & Apesteguia, Jose, 2005. "Experimentally observed imitation and cooperation in price competition on the circle," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 171-192, April.
    14. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    15. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 80-95, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Moghadam, Hamed M., 2015. "Price and non-price competition in oligopoly: An analysis of relative payoff maximizers," Ruhr Economic Papers 575, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Peter Duersch & Jörg Oechssler & Burkhard Schipper, 2014. "When is tit-for-tat unbeatable?," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 43(1), pages 25-36, February.
    3. Friedman, Daniel & Huck, Steffen & Oprea, Ryan & Weidenholzer, Simon, 2015. "From imitation to collusion: Long-run learning in a low-information environment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 185-205.
    4. Roel van Veldhuizen & Joep Sonnemans, 2011. "Nonrenewable Resources, Strategic Behavior and the Hotelling Rule: An Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-014/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. repec:spr:joecth:v:64:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00199-016-1002-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bigoni, Maria & Fort, Margherita, 2013. "Information and learning in oligopoly: An experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 192-214.
    7. Accinelli, Elvio & Covarrubias, Enrique, 2015. "Evolution in a Walrasian setting," MPRA Paper 64736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Fallucchi, Francesco & Renner, Elke & Sefton, Martin, 2013. "Information feedback and contest structure in rent-seeking games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 223-240.
    9. Buckert, Magdalena & Oechssler, Jörg & Schwieren, Christiane, 2017. "Imitation under stress," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 252-266.
    10. Duersch, Peter & Oechssler, Jörg & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2012. "Unbeatable imitation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 88-96.
    11. Jonas Hedlund, 2015. "Imitation in Cournot oligopolies with multiple markets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 60(3), pages 567-587, November.
    12. Peter Duersch & Joerg Oechssler & Burkhard Schipper, 2011. "Once Beaten, Never Again: Imitation in Two-Player Potential Games," Working Papers 1112, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    13. Hedlund Jonas, 2012. "Altruism and Local Interaction," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, June.
    14. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2010. "Feedback, punishment and cooperation in public good experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 689-702, March.
    15. Bigoni, Maria & Suetens, Sigrid, 2012. "Feedback and dynamics in public good experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 86-95.
    16. Ana B. Ania & Andreas Wagener, 2014. "Laboratory Federalism: The Open Method of Coordination (OMC) as an Evolutionary Learning Process," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(5), pages 767-795, October.
    17. Moghadam, Hamed M., 2015. "The nonparametric approach to evolutionary oligopoly," Ruhr Economic Papers 576, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    18. Jörg Oechssler & Alex Roomets & Stefan Roth, 2016. "From imitation to collusion: a replication," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 13-21, May.
    19. Bardsley, Peter & Erkal, Nisvan & Nikiforakis, Nikos & Wilkening, Tom, 2013. "Recursive contracts, firm longevity, and rat races: An experimental analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 217-231.
    20. repec:zbw:rwirep:0497 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Leininger, Wolfgang & Moghadam, Hamed M., 2014. "Evolutionary Stability in Asymmetric Oligopoly. A Non-Walrasian Result," Ruhr Economic Papers 497, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    22. Wolfgang Leininger & Hamed Moghadam, 2014. "Evolutionary Stability in Asymmetric Oligopoly. A Non-Walrasian Result," Ruhr Economic Papers 0497, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    23. Oechssler, Jörg & Roomets, Alex & Roth, Stefan, 2015. "From Imitation to Collusion - A Comment," Working Papers 0588, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

    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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