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Social Learning with Coarse Inference

  • Antonio Guarino
  • Philippe Jehie

We study social learning by boundedly rational agents. Agents take a decision in sequence, after observing their predecessors and a private signal. They are unable to make perfect inferences from their predecessors' decisions: they only understand the relation between the aggregate distribution of actions and the state of nature, and make their inferences accordingly. We show that, in a discrete action space, even if agents receive signals of unbounded precision, there are asymptotic inefficiencies. In a continuous action space, compared to the rational case, agents overweight early signals. Despite this behavioral bias, eventually agents learn the realized state of the world and choose the correct action. (JEL D82, D83)

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 814577000000000292.

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Date of creation: 13 Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:814577000000000292
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Jehiel, Philippe, 2005. "Analogy-based expectation equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 81-104, August.
  2. Philippe Jehiel & Frédéric Koessler, 2006. "Revisiting Games of Incomplete Information with Analogy-Based Expectations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000252, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  4. Larson, Nathan, 2008. "Inertia in social learning from a summary statistic," MPRA Paper 32143, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2011.
  5. Peter M. Demarzo & Dimitri Vayanos & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 2003. "Persuasion Bias, Social Influence, And Unidimensional Opinions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 909-968, August.
  6. Dorothea K¸bler & Georg Weizs”cker, 2004. "Limited Depth of Reasoning and Failure of Cascade Formation in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 425-441, 04.
  7. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  8. Monzón, Ignacio & Rapp, Michael, 2014. "Observational learning with position uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 375-402.
  9. Huck, Steffen & Oechssler, Jorg, 1998. "Informational cascades with continuous action spaces," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 163-166, August.
  10. Celen, Bogachan & Kariv, Shachar, 2004. "Observational learning under imperfect information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 72-86, April.
  11. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2001. "Herd Behavior and Cascading in Capital Markets: A Review and Synthesis," MPRA Paper 5186, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Allison, G. & Fudenberg, D., 1992. "Rules of Thumb for Social Learning," Working papers 92-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Georg Weizsacker, 2008. "Do we follow others when we should? A simple test of rational expectations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4945, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Antonio Guarino & Steffen Huck & Heike Harmgart, 2008. "When half the truth is better than the truth: A Theory of aggregate information cascades," WEF Working Papers 0046, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  15. Abhijit Banerjee & Drew Fudenberg, 2010. "Word of Mouth Learning," Levine's Working Paper Archive 723, David K. Levine.
  16. Gale, Douglas, 1996. "What have we learned from social learning?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 617-628, April.
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