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Adaptive social learning

  • Christoph March

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics)

This paper investigates the learning foundations of economic models of social learning. We pursue the prevalent idea in economics that rational play is the outcome of a dynamic process of adaptation. Our learning approach offers us the possibility to clarify when and why the prevalent rational (equilibrium) view of social learning is likely to capture observed regularities in the field. In particular it enables us to address the issue of individual and interactive knowledge. We argue that knowledge about the private belief distribution is unlikely to be shared in most social learning contexts. Absent this mutual knowledge, we show that the long-run outcome of the adaptive process favors non-Bayesian rational play.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00572528
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