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Superstition and Rational Learning

Listed author(s):
  • Drew Fudenberg
  • David K Levine

We argue that some, but not all, superstitions can persist when learning is rational and players are patient, and illustrate our argument with an example inspired by the Code of Hammurabi. The code specified an "appeal by surviving in the river" as a way of deciding whether an accusation was true. According to our theory, a mechanism that uses superstitions two or more steps off the equilibrium path, such as "appeal by surviving in the river," is more likely to persist than a superstition where the false beliefs are only one step off the equilibrium path. (JEL C72, C73, D83, D84)

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://www.dklevine.com/papers/ham-o.pdf
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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 618897000000000731.

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Date of creation: 16 Jul 2005
Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000731
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Jehiel, Philippe & Samet, Dov, 2005. "Learning to play games in extensive form by valuation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 129-148, October.
  2. Rubinstein Ariel & Wolinsky Asher, 1994. "Rationalizable Conjectural Equilibrium: Between Nash and Rationalizability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 299-311, March.
  3. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-894, July.
  4. Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 1999. "Payoff Information and Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 165-185, December.
  5. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1993. "Steady State Learning and Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 547-573, May.
  6. Foster, Dean P. & Vohra, Rakesh V., 1997. "Calibrated Learning and Correlated Equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 40-55, October.
  7. Hart, Sergiu, 2002. "Evolutionary dynamics and backward induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 227-264, November.
  8. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M. & Levine, David K., 1988. "On the robustness of equilibrium refinements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 354-380, April.
  9. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M., 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games I. Self-confirming equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 20-55.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1997. "Measuring Players' Losses in Experimental Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 507-536.
  11. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1993. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 523-545, May.
  12. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 1999. "Conditional Universal Consistency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 104-130, October.
  13. Kalai, E & Neme, A, 1992. "The Strength of a Little Perfection," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 20(4), pages 335-355.
  14. Lambson, Val E. & Probst, Daniel A., 2004. "Learning by matching patterns," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 398-409, February.
  15. Aumann, Robert J, 1987. "Correlated Equilibrium as an Expression of Bayesian Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, January.
  16. Noldeke Georg & Samuelson Larry, 1993. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 425-454, July.
  17. Aoyagi, Masaki, 1996. "Evolution of Beliefs and the Nash Equilibrium of Normal Form Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 444-469, August.
  18. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "Measuring Subject’s Losses in Experimental Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 370, David K. Levine.
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