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Self-correcting Information Cascades

  • Goeree, Jacob
  • Palfrey, Thomas
  • Rogers, Brian
  • McKelvey, Richard

In laboratory experiments, information cascades are ephemeral phenomena, collapsing soon after they form, and them reforming again. The formation/collapse/reformation cycles occur frequently and repeatedly. Cascades may be reversed (collapse followed by a cascade on a different state) and more often than not, such a reversal is self-correcting: The cascade switches from the incorrect to the correct state. Past experimental work focused on relatively short horizons, where these interesting dynamics are rarely observed. We present experiments with a longer horizon, and also investigate the effect of signal informativeness. We propose a theoretical model, based on quantal response equilibrium, where temporary and self-correcting cascades arise as equilibrium phenomena. The model also predicts the systematic differences we observe experimentally in the dynamics, as a function of signal informativeness. We extend the basic model to include a parameter measuring base rate neglect and find it to be a statistically significant factor in the dynamics, resulting in somewhat faster rates of social learning.

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Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 1197.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published:
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1197
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  1. Jacob Goeree & Charles Holt & Thomas Palfrey, 2005. "Regular Quantal Response Equilibrium," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 347-367, December.
  2. Goeree, Jacob & Palfrey, Thomas & Rogers, Brian, 2003. "Social learning with private and common values," Working Papers 1187, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Markus Noth & Martin Weber, 2003. "Information Aggregation with Random Ordering: Cascades and Overconfidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 166-189, January.
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  10. Bogaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv, 2004. "Distinguishing Informational Cascades from Herd Behavior in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 484-498, June.
  11. Bernardo, Antonio & Welch, Ivo, 1997. "On the Evolution of Overconfidence and Entrepreneurs," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt6668s4pz, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  12. Boðaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv & Andrew Schotter, 2006. "An Experimental Test of Advice and Social Learning," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000272, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
  14. Dorothea Kübler & Georg Weizsäcker, 2005. "Are Longer Cascades More Stable?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 330-339, 04/05.
  15. Shachar Kariv, 2005. "Overconfidence and Informational Cascades," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000406, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2005. "Learning in Networks: An Experimental Study," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000044, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  18. Georg Weizsäcker, 2003. "Ignoring the rationality of others: evidence from experimental normal-form games," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 507, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  19. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Goeree, Jacob & Holt, Charles, 2000. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-value Auctions," Working Papers 1073, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  20. Stahl Dale O. & Wilson Paul W., 1995. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 218-254, July.
  21. Anderson, Lisa R, 2001. "Payoff Effects in Information Cascade Experiments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 609-15, October.
  22. Celen, Bogachan & Kariv, Shachar, 2004. "Observational learning under imperfect information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 72-86, April.
  23. Angela Hung & Jeff Dominitz, 2004. "Homogeneous Actions and Hetergeneous Beliefs: Experimental Evidence on the Formation of Information Cascades," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 64, Econometric Society.
  24. Steffen Huck & Joerg Oechssler, 1999. "Informational cascades in the laboratory: Do they occur for the right reasons?," Experimental 9901001, EconWPA.
  25. 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.
  26. Kübler, Dorothea & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2000. "Limited depth of reasoning and failure of cascade formation in the laboratory," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,3, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  27. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  28. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  29. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898, August.
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