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Superstition and Rational Learning

  • 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.

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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
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000731
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K., 1991. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium ," Working papers 581, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Dekel, E. & Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K., 1999. "Payoff information and Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Papers 9-99, Tel Aviv.
  3. Noeldecke,Georg & Samuelson,Larry, . "An evolutionary analysis of backward and forward induction," Discussion Paper Serie B 228, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1993. "Steady State Learning and Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 547-73, May.
  5. Aumann, Robert J, 1987. "Correlated Equilibrium as an Expression of Bayesian Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, January.
  6. Philippe Jehiel & Dov Samet, 2001. "Learning To Play Games In Extensive Form By Valuation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391749000000000010, David K. Levine.
  7. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 1999. "Conditional Universal Consistency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 104-130, October.
  8. 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.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & David M. Kreps & David K. Levine, 1986. "On the Robustness of Equilibrium Refinements," UCLA Economics Working Papers 398, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Hart, Sergiu, 2002. "Evolutionary dynamics and backward induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 227-264, November.
  11. A. Rubinstein & A. Wolinsky, 2010. "Rationalizable Conjectural Equilibrium: Between Nash and Rationalizability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 369, David K. Levine.
  12. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 237, David K. Levine.
  13. Ehud Kalai & Alejandro Neme, 1989. "The Strength of a Little Perfection," Discussion Papers 858, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "Measuring Subject’s Losses in Experimental Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 370, David K. Levine.
  17. Lambson, Val E. & Probst, Daniel A., 2004. "Learning by matching patterns," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 398-409, February.
  18. 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.
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